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Tech Exodus: 30% of Tech Workers Have Already Left Major Cities During Covid-19, Survey Shows

Chicago is hardest hit, but the Bay Area is doing well overall

Covid-19 is surging across the country and around the world, with cases increasing dramatically in many major US cities. Amid the pandemic, many employers have allowed their staff members to work remotely. This is especially true in the tech industry, where many jobs can be done remotely, and partially-remote teams were part of daily reality even before the pandemic.
With several companies making in-person work optional on a permanent basis following Covid-19, however, many tech workers are considering whether they ever want to return to a physical office. Many workers live in expensive cities or regions like Silicon Valley, to allow for easy commuting to tech companies ‘ headquarters.
Without the requirement to work on site, many tech workers are realizing that they can keep their jobs while moving out of cities and the expensive metropolitan areas that surround them.
According to a new survey by in partnership with , 30% of tech workers have moved out of the metropolitan area where they had resided prior to the pandemic. This “Tech Exodus” could have major implications for the technology industry, and for the tax base of cities that focus heavily on the tech industry.
The cities most affected by the tech exodus are Chicago and New York City. In those cities, 43% and 40% respectively of tech workers surveyed had already moved from the region as a result of remote work and the pandemic. Around 30% had moved out of Seattle, Austin, and Los Angeles. The San Francisco Bay Area had the smallest tech exodus effect, with only 21% of surveyed professionals saying that they had moved outside of the region.
Not all employers are offering permanent work from home options. But around 50% of surveyed professionals said that their companies offered either “permanent” or “some permanent” work from home options. This was a major factor driving the tech exodus.
Tech professionals who move are less likely to seek a roommate than in normal times. Only 38% said they would feel comfortable having a roommate or other co-living arrangement. Most cited Covid-19 infection concerns as their reason for not seeking co-living arrangements.
Will the tech exodus be permanent? The survey data suggests that it may be. Only 40% of tech professionals who had left their city planned to return. Many may seek less expensive places to live permanently, now that they can telecommute to their tech job.
Preferences regarding returning depended on the city, however. Around 80% of Chicago tech workers who had left the city planned to return, although many indicated that they would not return for a year or more. Overall, though, this bodes well for the future of the city. Read more via ThomasSmith

Pemo Theodore

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher and a great people connector. She was Founder Silicon Valley TV which has served the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years! She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups for 10 years. Pemo loves to video interview venture capitalists & founders to engage the human behind the success stories.. She has been Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley for 6 years, organizing twice monthly FinTech talks & panels in San Francisco & Palo Alto and audio podcasts. She believes in learning through a great discussion with experts in the domains. Pemo has a talent to bring the right people together and is an incredible networker. Pemo's events have been seen as supporting Venture Capitalists & Angels in sourcing great deal flow from startups who attend her events. Many founders have received funding through meeting investors at her events. Her favored medium is audio & visual media and she has built up a great body of work of videos of panels & interviews and podcasts in Silicon Valley startup ecosystem. She has lived & worked in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, London, Northern Ireland & Silicon Valley. Bio

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