While 2021’s big workplace trend was ‘The Great Resignation’, 2024’s big trend is likely to be ‘The Big Stay’ in Australia, according to the latest research from HR platform, HiBob.

The combination of decreasing Australian job vacancies and increase in job satisfaction among Australia’s young tech workers in 2023 could usher in a new workplace trend called ‘The Big Stay’. The trend is already sweeping the US, with workers choosing to stay put at work.

HiBob’s research finds that amid the instability of the past 12 months, job satisfaction was on the increase with nearly all (96%) of young tech workers ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ in their role, and three in four (74%) saying their experience at work reaches or exceeds their expectations. As a result, less than one in five (18%) plan to quit their job in 2024.

Australia’s young tech workers listed many reasons for their current levels of job satisfaction including being happy with their work-life balance (80%), feeling trusted (57%), having the resources required (53%) and being given independence (49%).

Moreover, few young Australians working in tech said it was less about the job itself when it comes to satisfaction and more about the people and environment around them. Just one in three (31%) said what they do/their role was what they liked about their job, compared with over half (51%) that mentioned their team, 43% that said their manager, and 37% that pointed to the company culture.

In terms of what young tech professionals don’t like about where they work, limited opportunities to build relationships with their team (43%), no clear career path (38%), company culture (29%), and not enough time in the office (27%) were the top responses.

“Even against the backdrop of a softening labour market, young tech professionals are optimistic about the year ahead,” HiBob vice president for Asia Pacific & Japan, Damien Andreasen said. “This increased job satisfaction, combined with the cooling job market, has created the perfect storm for ‘The Big Stay’. Employers looking to attract top talent will need to reassess their strategies to ensure they are providing the right incentives — surprisingly, more responsibilities and management opportunities (53%) beat out a better compensation package (52%) as the top reason new opportunities are explored.”

HiBob’s report found nearly half (47%) of Australia’s young tech professionals were required to be in the office five days a week in 2023, and when it came to motivation, half (49%) prefer working from the office with just two fifths (39%) favouring a work-from-home arrangement. 

When asked what workplace benefits they value the most, the top responses were the ability to work from anywhere for a portion of the year (48%), a fully remote work model (39%), and a four-day work model (41%).

“This growing preference for office-based work begs the question — is the tide turning on the work-from-home trend for this generation?” Andreasen said. “Not necessarily — greater flexibility is still one of the key reasons employees look elsewhere (40%), but one thing is clear: being in the office with peers and seniors enables people to learn faster through proximity. This has been a critical gap for onboarding, ramping, and training new talent since WFH began.”