Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 53 - Page 43


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The UK ’ s Great Resignation has reported job moves totalling 979,000 between July and September 2021 , according to the Office for National Statistics ( ONS ) – and the trend will likely continue this year . As tech roles become more specialised and the war for talent continues to be competitive , IT leaders will need to offer more flexibility to attract and retain talent .

It ’ s becoming almost impossible to find engineers who will return to an office-based role . Before the pandemic , only 41 % of developers worked at an office either full-time or part-time , but of the 12,000 surveyed in GitHub ’ s 2021 State of the Octoverse report , just 10.7 % said they ’ d expect to go back to the office .
With tech skills powering digital businesses , hiring managers and leaders must first understand and embrace the WFA model to appreciate what workers really want . Only then will any initiatives move the needle of hiring and securing workers for the long-term .
What WFA really means
Flexibility means different things to different people . In my 30 years in tech – 15 of these personally as a mentor or manager of remote and hybrid teams – running a balanced team has always been a priority for me . The expectation that an IT person would always have to ‘ walk the floor ’, in our business at least , is long gone . When the rest of the business world ‘ started ’ adjusting to remote working two years ago , we were already there .
For me , Working From Anywhere means effective teamwork and collaboration aligned to the customer and project requirements , with some in-office work as necessary – perhaps on an external project , depending on the challenge and the task . But now everyone is mostly remote , there ’ s no physical need to be in front of people all the time . Most of the time in projects the heavy lifting has been done remotely and the idea of assigning physical desks in a customer ’ s office would generate far more complexity in terms of worker set-up than any benefit they ’ d realise . always matters more than ways of working , remote working is perfect .
Why workers are moving
Tech workers are moving because they can , since technology enabled tech workers to be the first movers . What we ’ re seeing now is companies forcing workers back into the office and team members feeling they don ’ t need to be in the office to be productive . This is just one step forward and two back in effective collaborative working . Workers are not feeling the same level of camaraderie in offices , which means there ’ s less holding them back to make them jump .
Some employers haven ’ t kept in touch with salaries and now the barriers to getting a job within a specific location have been removed , their traditional , ‘ close to the office ’ pool of talent doesn ’ t exist anymore since other companies are hiring those people regardless of physical location . Now you can work from the depths of Yorkshire for any organisation in the UK and get paid what would have been considered in the olden days a London weighted salary . Hiring from anywhere also allows us to create diverse teams since we ’ re no longer tied to the demographics of a given area and we ’ re agile in responding to customers ’ needs due to time zones and less time lost to travel .
We ’ ve been remote working for some time and candidates now expect more in terms of remote work and growth opportunities in their roles , and this includes a sense of belonging .
Ian Pitt , CIO at Progress
There is a need for team workers to sync in terms of time zones as it can lead to personal / resourcing challenges if the time zones don ’ t match up . Otherwise , pretty much anything goes to pull in the right talent for the right project . You can ’ t beat faceto-face for really complex situations , but as long as clients understand that the goals and the getting there
Creating a culture of belonging
We ’ re seeing a range of factors which engender loyalty for our engineers and tech workers . It ’ s important to ensure their remote workspaces are safe , comfortable and productive . Hiring managers and digital leaders must be in tune with what today ’ s tech candidates
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