Your company’s remote work policy has significant implications for how you retain and hire team members. While the majority of developers currently work in a remote set-up, hybrid options are equally popular. That means you’ll need to make a compelling offer if you want to bring your team into the office. Here we’ll deep dive into how your remote work policy affects your talent pipeline and what developers are looking for to make the commute worth it.
Developers are split between remote and hybrid set ups
In our latest State of Developer Nation report, with input from more than 4 500 South African developers, we asked about developers’ preferences for workplace policy.
From the results, it’s clear that developers value work-life balance: They are evenly split between preferring fully-remote and hybrid work set-ups. The traditional office job stands out as deeply unpopular: Only a slim 3% chose this as their preferred option.
A remote work policy helps with attracting and retaining senior developers
Seniors prefer fully remote work the most, which perhaps indicates a higher capability of working independently than one would expect of graduates and juniors.
Developers with less experience seem to have a lower preference to work fully remote jobs. Given that they’re dependent on the mentoring and support from their seniors, this is unsurprising.
If you’re operating a fully remote work set-up and are hoping to grow talent from within, it would be worthwhile to invest in this area to get your juniors up to speed and add value to their team as fast as possible.
Remote work can grow your talent pool
A remote work policy can expand your talent pool by allowing you access to developers from outside your city limits. If you’re opting for a hybrid policy that requires office visits, make sure to consider the effect this could have on your available talent pool.
Through our interactions with companies on OfferZen, we’ve seen that many South African companies have a tendency to hire in their own cities, which is likely the case if your hybrid policy requires developers to spend some time in the office. However, this drastically limits your pool of available talent.
In 2022, 25% of all South African developers on OfferZen came from Cape Town, and 26% from Johannesburg. By our estimation, if you confined your hiring to one of these cities, it means you’d lose out on more than 70% of available developers from the rest of the country.
It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all policy for your team members. From our latest report, we’ve seen that the majority of developers in a fully remote setup prefer heading into the office at least once a month to connect with co-workers, with almost 12% going in once a week.
Therefore, a good balance might be to have an office or co-working space available for those who want to work in a hybrid model, but not make it required for all developers to be in the office.
Offer additional benefits that make your office space appealing to your developers
If you want to make office space available to your developers — how can you make it as appealing as possible for people to go in? We asked our community what makes heading to the office more attractive for them.
Provide flexible hours or shorter working hours
Being flexible in your work hours is key for developers who need to avoid a lengthy commute, and have time for personal tasks:
“Being able to end at 5 and turn off my laptop and already be home is just something that cannot be matched. If there’s a reason to be in the office that day… knowing that I can get there earlier and leave earlier to skip traffic helps make it bearable.”
LinkedIn response: Kevin van Niekerk, Full-Stack Software Developer
A flexible work schedule can also improve your team’s work-life balance by allowing them to balance work and personal tasks:
“I would say a 4 day work week, or shorter working hours… This promotes a healthy work-life balance. Working in the office doesn’t always grant you the freedom to rest your brain by doing other therapeutic/light non-work related tasks…like stepping away from your desk to water your plants, or taking a short drive to get lunch or other household necessities, picking up kids from school etc.”
Instagram response: @tshepiimab
“Full flexible work environment aka flexible time and place, with certain common hours for collaboration or necessary meetings. Professional development/learning and networking. Interesting project opportunities, resources and accessible office location.”
Twitter response: @YogitaRed8
Offer a travel allowance
In the current economic climate, travel is especially costly. If you want to bring your team into the office regularly, offering an allowance for this expense is especially helpful to many developers:
Provide an exciting office environment with tangible perks
Compared to the comforts of home, it’s important to go above and beyond to make your office an exciting space. A great way to do that is with plenty of perks.
“I commute a fair distance to the office voluntarily, several times per week. If the office didn’t have a kitchen stocked with food and coffee and lots of big whiteboards, I probably wouldn’t go in as much. If there were activities such as gym or cross-fit, I’d probably go in more.”
LinkedIn response: Alex Steinberg, Senior Front-end Engineer
“Most people don’t have the time to pack a meal for lunch because they’re trying to beat traffic, so providing a simple lunch would be a winner. Buying lunch every day works out extremely expensive.”
LinkedIn response: Nico Hanmer, Testing Engineer
“Companies must remember that now the competition is working from home (probably the most comfortable place) vs. an office. Maybe put some games and a good coffee bar and give a bit more time to relax, other than lunchtime!”
LinkedIn response: Muhammad Umair Nasir, Data Scientist
“Innovative space that has private pods to shut off and code or work with music… and open collaboration areas with a popcorn and coffee machine.”
Twitter response: @DotBecca
Ensure your developers have a great technical setup
Finally, a great work setup matters to developers. For true flexibility in options, it makes sense for these factors to be present both at home and at the office.
Navigate tumultuous times and benchmark your hiring efforts more confidently with insights from our State of the Developer Nation report.
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