IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Rise in job satisfaction signals 'The Big Stay' among tech youth
Tue, 13th Feb 2024

There has been a significant rise in job satisfaction among young tech professionals in Australia, coupled with a softening labour market, which might indicate the onset of 'The Big Stay' in the country, says the latest research by HiBob. This trend reflects a shift from the 'Great Resignation', seen in 2021, towards employees choosing to stay with their current employers in light of a turbulent year.

This research, in its second year now, explores the world of young tech professionals, seeking to understand what motivates them and how their attitudes are changing. The extensive study surveyed 1,000 Australian tech professionals aged between 20 and 30, offering insights into this dynamic demographic that plays a significant role in the tech landscape.

Due to noteworthy fluctuations in the last 12 months, there was an unexpected surge in job satisfaction with almost all (96%) young tech professionals in Australia being satisfied or very satisfied in their jobs. Three quarters (74%) claimed their work experience met or exceeded their expectations. Consequently, less than one in five (18%) plan to quit their job in 2024.

The research highlighted several causes for high levels of job satisfaction among young Australian tech workers. More than half (57%) felt trusted to do their jobs and 53% felt they had the resources they needed. A considerable 80% were happy with their work-life balance, and 49% appreciated the independence at work and not being micromanaged.

What young Australian tech professionals valued more appears to be less about the job itself and more about the people and environment surrounding them. Only one in three (31%) said their role was what they liked about their job, compared to more than half (51%) who valued their team, 43% their manager, and 37% the company culture.

Damien Andreasen, APJ vice president at HiBob, commented, "Even against the backdrop of a softening labour market, young tech professionals are optimistic about the year ahead. Increased job satisfaction, combined with the cooling job market, has created the perfect storm for 'The Big Stay' to hit Aussie shores. Employers seeking top talent will need to reassess their strategies to ensure they provide the right incentives."

Surprisingly enough, growth opportunities and more management responsibilities (53%) pipped a better compensation package (52%) in the list of motivations for exploring new job opportunities. HiBob's research found almost half (47%) of the young tech professionals had to be in the office five days a week in 2023. As for preferences, half (49%) favoured working from the office, while only 39% preferred the work-from-home arrangement.

In terms of benefits, the ability to work from anywhere for part of the year (48%), a fully remote work model (39%), and a four-day work model (41%) topped the list. Andreasen added, "Is the tide turning on the work-from-home trend for this generation? Not necessarily. Greater flexibility is still a key reason employees look elsewhere (40%), but one thing is clear: being in the office with peers and seniors enables people to learn faster. This has been a critical gap for onboarding, ramping, and training new talent since work-from-home began."