Levels of job satisfaction among young tech workers in Europe have bounced back this year. The proportion of employees feeling unhappy in their role fell from 35% in 2022 to 15% in 2023.
The findings come from the Young Generation in Tech report (backed by Eight Roads Ventures Europe and HR platform HiBob), which surveyed 2,000 20- to 30-year olds working in tech across seven countries: the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Nearly half of respondents (48%) said they’re “very satisfied” with their role, and 63% plan to stay in their job for the foreseeable future. Only a year ago, the same group reported feeling disappointed, with one in four on the verge of quitting.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of respondents (82%) stated that their experience in the company they work for “reaches” or “exceeds expectations.” A whopping 77% shared that they’ve been promoted at least once in the past 24 months. Similarly, the feeling of job security has increased from 51% last year to 59%.
Not everyone’s happy
Among the respondents, Dutch and Swedish tech workers reported the highest levels of job dissatisfaction at 17.7% and 25.3%, respectively. They were also the groups that felt most insecure in their role — 24.7% in the Netherlands and 25.6% in Sweden.
In addition, most of the respondents from the two countries expressed zero confidence in the companies they work for. This number reaches 32.2% in Sweden and 38.7% in the Netherlands, while the European average stands at 28.19%. Perhaps more alarmingly, more than half (58%) of respondents across all regions said they’re nearly or entirely unconfident.
Pay me more
When it comes to staying at or leaving a job, the top two most important factors were compensation and promotions. Other motivations included company growth and success and flexible working opportunities.
Beyond compensation, the surveyed employees valued hybrid and flexible shifts the most, followed by budgets for learning and development, and health benefits. A four-day work model and the possibility to work from anywhere for a while ranked fourth and sixth.
Back to the office
While flexibility is among the top priorities, young tech workers are returning to the office. More than half of all respondents (56.14%) said they prefer working at the office four to five times per week. Hybrid work came second at 34.49%, with nearly 40% of the employees reporting that they feel equally engaged both at home and in the office.
Only 9.38% of respondents showed preference towards fully remote work, with the set-up most appreciated by employees in Ireland and France.
Despite fears of AI taking over jobs, 78% of the people surveyed were confident about the technology’s impact on their role. The majority stated that artificial intelligence will boost their productivity, efficiency, and creativity, while only 11% are against using AI tools.
“Not surprisingly, [tech’s youngest workers] are the fastest generation to embrace AI, seeing it as a strong productivity lever, and not a threat. AI is one of the most significant innovations of our time, and it’s great to see younger people so engaged with it,” said Davor Hebel, Managing Partner at Eight Roads Ventures.