40% of US-based tech jobs could move abroad in the next 5 years as remote working allows top talent to be hired anywhere in the world

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New data suggests that the COVID-induced shift to remote work is disrupting America’s tech ecosystem.

Almost a quarter of tech companies plan to shift to a fully-remote workforce in the future, according to a survey of 764 employees from HR company Remote and Sapio Research.

Companies cited access to higher quality talent and improved staff retention as the main reasons for the change.

Within five years, an estimated 40% of tech roles will be located outside the country and 43% outside the state they are currently in, according to the survey.

“A lot is changing in this moment and we’re not necessarily going to go back to the way things once were,” says Russell Murphy, communications director for San Francisco-headquartered scooter startup Lime. 

Lime is one tech startup pioneering a flexible approach to work.

It operates in 120 cities across 30 countries and so most of its employees work in cities without an office, which has fostered a work-from-home-friendly culture, says Murphy.

Soon many other tech startups may also have a dispersed workforce.

The survey also found that 71% of employees at tech startups in the US would move to a different country if they could do their job remotely. The most popular destination to relocate to is another country in North America (14%), followed by Northern Europe (13%).

A further 12% would relocate to a different US state given the choice. 

“I don’t know that there will all of a sudden be a mass exodus from San Francisco,” says Murphy. “[But] certainly you might see people move out of the city centre and move closer to Mountain View or Palo Alto.”

One of the advantages could be access to overlooked talent from outside Silicon Valley — 61% of survey respondents think that entrepreneurs need to look beyond Silicon Valley to find the best talent. 

  Facebook's head of global recruiting reveals the tech giant's remote hiring strategy that is helping them add 10,000 new product engineers to their team this year

Lime has already reaped the benefits of global tech talent. 

“Because we can be so remote and because we’re such a hyper locally-focused company, we want to make sure we’re finding talent wherever we can find it,” says Murphy. “Our culture and our policy on flexibility are both things that have had an ability to recruit that talent.”

Remote working could also cut costs for startups. The survey found that tech employees were willing to accept on average a 17% pay cut if they could work from wherever they wanted.   

Silicon Valley is not the only tech hub that could be disrupted. 

A parallel survey by Remote and Sapio found that a third of tech roles could be remotely located outside of the UK in five years’ time.

71% of employees at UK-based tech startups would move abroad if they could work remotely, with the most popular destination also being North America (16%), closely followed by Southern Europe (14%). 

The UK’s tech employees also believe startups need to hire more diverse employees, with 63% saying that entrepreneurs need to look beyond London to find the best tech talent.

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Source:: Business Insider


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