Shifting Tides in Software Engineering Work Preferences

December 14, 2023
This image shows working from home and working in office. This is to represent a desire to work hybrid.

In the last 3 months I have completed an extremely detailed, comprehensive analysis on software engineers and their desire to work remotely VS in office … Here’s what I’ve found:

(Disclaimer*** by “extremely detailed and comprehensive”, I mean I just talked to a whooooooooole bunch of developers like usual and I made some casual observations)


~65% of the developers I’m chatting with PREFER to have a local office setting to go to, 1-3 days a week.

~25% would be happy to never see an office, ever again (i.e. full remote forever)

~10% PREFER remote, but really really like doing quarterly off sites to engage with the team face to face.

Definitely interesting because it feels like a complete 180 from even just a year ago.

In 2022 I would have told you about 10% preferred some on-site, 65% preferred remote and 25% were relatively indifferent to hybrid environments.

I can’t tell if people are generally tired of being home all the time or if they have adjusted their “desires” to the market since so many more companies (especially the ones hiring more actively right now) are looking for at least some time in office.

Some other general observations…

— Exactly 100% of software developers want flexibility in their work (in other words they don’t want to be expected to be in-office every day, and they want managers who are understanding and flexible)

— The quickest way to get a software developer to tell you that they’re not interested in your job is to tell them that they have to be in-office 5 days a week.

— Software developers DO accept jobs that require in-office 5 days a week, but only when they need to take a job for financial reasons. Developers in jobs that require 5 days in-office are definitely definitely definitely still looking for other jobs and will leave as soon as they find someone who is more flexible.

So, in conclusion, finding a balance between remote and in-office work may be the key to attracting and retaining top-tier software engineers in the current job market. Workplace flexibility is a must … it’s that secret sauce that keeps everyone satisfied and motivated.

p.s. Are you looking to a Hire Startup Software Developer?

Will Wegert (#DevRecruiter) Helps US Based VC Backed Startups & Growth Phase Tech Companies Find & Hire “Uncommonly Good” Hands-On Software Engineering Leaders, Founding Engineers, 0-1 MVP Developers,& Senior, Lead, Staff, & Principal Software Developers

Will Wegert

Division Director, Software Development

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