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The survey results were broken down by employer and indicate a correlation between announced return to work policies and employee satisfaction.

Survey finds high-tech employees want work-from-home or they may leave

Responses from over 5,500 staffers at high-tech firms show a significant reluctance to return to workplaces on more than an occasional basis, a trend with major implications for corporate dining programs.

A just-published survey by anonymous professional network Blind that asked 5,680 employees from high-tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter about their attitudes toward their company’s return to work policies found that two-thirds of those who were unsatisfied with those policies want to leave. The survey results are yet another indication of a major emerging issue as the pandemic winds down and organizations look for a “return to normal”—that traditional work practices are in for a significant change. It is an issue of significant relevance for onsite dining programs in the B&I market as it affects not only the number of potential customers available on any given day but how they use onsite dining services.

For the affected companies, the situation has major ramifications in employee recruitment and retention, an ongoing issue in the high-tech industries where competition for talented professionals has always been fierce and helped drive an “arms race” in workplace amenities—including high-quality, subsidized dining services—to generate employee satisfaction. With the pandemic imposing broad remote work allowances, many of those amenities were suspended with the understanding that they would return with the crisis subsided. However, indication are that many employees have found that they like the remote work option as either a full-time or part-time alternative and resist any mandates to return to the office on more than an intermittent basis.

Furthermore, with high-tech seeing an across-the-board business boom as a result of the pandemic, the demand for more talent in this market only increases, making employee attitudes about their employers even more critical.

In the Blind survey, only half (51%) of the respondents said they are satisfied with their employer’s new work from home policies and 66% of those not satisfied with those policies said it made them want to leave.

The survey results were broken down by employer and indicate a correlation between announced return to work policies and employee satisfaction. For instance, high satisfaction and low want-to-leave responses were recorded for companies like Indeed, Facebook, Twitter and Zillow that have announced full or mostly liberalized work-from-home options while others like Google, Amazon, Apple and Uber saw lower satisfaction and higher want-to-leave rates because of more restrictive policies such as the mandated three days a week in the office starting in September announced by Amazon, Apple and Uber and Google’s expectation that 60% of its staff would be in the office and work-from-home being by approval only. By contrast, Twitter and Zillow (for 90% of its employees) will allow work-from-home permanently as will Facebook and Indeed on a slightly more restricted basis.

The survey also included employees from high-tech companies other than the prominent Silicon Valley online economy players, and a scan of the results shows a relatively high degree of dissatisfaction among employees of major financial firms, many with operations in New York that have been pushing return-to-office policies hard recently. Some companies in this market with high want-to-leave rates from the survey include Morgan Stanley (73%), JP Morgan Chase (71%), Capital One (63%), Visa (61%) and Goldman Sachs (57%).

Companies with want-to-leave rates under 10% included Spotify (9%), Twitter (5%), Indeed (3%) and Atlassian (0%).

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