More Americans have quit their jobs in the past few months than ever before, with many reconsidering their priorities around work. For tech workers, who are already highly paid and in demand, moving between jobs means new demands, including the ability to work remotely, more flexibility in work hours, and more time spent on meaningful tasks.
"When I've talked to engineers, one of the things they've been prioritizing, in addition to freedom and flexibility, is really about how the work can be important," says Kit Merker, the COO of Nobl9, a software reliability platform. "It used to be about the campus, the perks, the money. But if you're sitting at home and you don't have access to the micro kitchen, the barista, the massages, then what really is separating this job from another job?"
Merker runs a conference for site reliability engineers, and says many people in that line of work have been burnt out by the demands of keeping platforms up and running in the pandemic. Companies that make remote-work products or services have all faced higher demand, along with higher expectations from customers in terms of how well their tech should work. Some engineers are questioning whether the stress is worth it.
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