07 September 2022

New Tech Work Reports Reveals Shift Toward the Office and Freelance Workforce Amidst Market Downturn

A new survey commissioned by A.Team and MassChallenge explores insights from 580+ tech founders and executives on the Great Resignation, return-to-office plans and recession fears.

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September 8, 2022A.Team, the first members-only network of the world’s top product builders, and MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, today released their inaugural 2022 Tech Work Report. The tech industry is facing a pivotal moment with the backdrop of the pandemic and difficult economic conditions, pushing leaders to change direction and adapt the way they do business.

The 2022 Tech Work Report arrives on the heels of the Sept. 6th deadline many tech companies set mandating employees to return to the office. It offers a detailed look at the change in tech leaders’ sentiments toward remote vs. in-office work models and insight into how they’re navigating hiring challenges and reassessing business priorities amid the market downturn.

Key findings include:

Many leaders want employees back in the office, despite the success of remote work and the challenge of replacing top performers who exited during the pandemic.

  • 44% say that a significant number of their top performers have exited due to the Great Resignation, and 62% report it takes four months or more to hire product and engineering talent.
  • 62% believe shifting to a more flexible work model during the pandemic has increased employee productivity, while 53% say that an economic downturn would make it easier to require employees to return to the office.
  • 37% intend to have employees work from the office more over the next 12 months – that number jumps to 55% for more mature Series B, C, D, E and public companies.

Amid frustrations with the traditional hiring model, tech founders & execs are ramping up hiring plans and embracing freelancers.

  • 45% say their hiring plans have increased over the last six months. For founders & executives at the Series B to IPO stage, that number jumps to 59%.
  • 70% say the traditional recruiting process takes too long and is too expensive. Product and engineering roles are the hardest to fill (39%).
  • 73% of tech companies now have integrated teams of freelancers and full-time employees, and 71% say that bringing on freelancers gives their business greater agility during times of economic uncertainty

Despite cautions from top VCs to not fundraise in the next 24 months, most still plan to try:

  • 60% expect to fundraise in the next 12 months, and 78% plan to in the next 18 months.
  • When asked to rank their top priorities, revenue growth was the most popular choice at 43%, followed by fundraising (22%). Reducing burn rate and achieving profitability was a distance third (14%).

“What’s most fascinating about these findings is how prevalent blended teams of freelancers and full-time employees have become since pre-pandemic times,” said Raphael Ouzan, A.Team co-founder and CEO. “This emerging talent model is more than just a cost-cutting measure to weather hard economic conditions. We’re seeing some of the world’s most highly-skilled builders ditching the ‘one job, one role’ mentality to go independent. Tech leaders who embrace this growing workforce are bringing on people they could never hire full-time. They’ll have a strong advantage over competitors—attracting the brightest minds to build world-changing products at record speed.” 

"At MassChallenge, we have a unique vantage point to see shifts in the innovation economy broadly, and the startup sector more specifically. We were eager to partner with A.Team to quantitatively explore how founders are navigating fundamental shifts in both workforce and the macro-environment," said Cait Brumme, CEO of MassChallenge. "I believe founders and funders will find this research insightful as they make decisions on key questions related to the future of work and fundraising. Without a doubt, this research showcases how founders remain agile and optimistic in the face of extraordinary change.”

To view the full findings within the 2022 Tech Work report, please visit a.team/mission/2022-tech-work-report 

Methodology

A.Team and MassChallenge partnered to survey 2,568 tech employees based in the United States. This report focused on a subset of 581 tech founders and executives (C-Suite or department leaders). All respondents identified themselves as owners/founders, partners, members of the c-suite, or VPs/heads of departments, actively serving in a leadership role at their organization. Respondents were all surveyed in July 2022 through the MassChallenge network of founders, experts, and partners. Respondents ranged from Seed to IPO companies, with a small subset of (10%) self-funded or grant funded. 

About A.Team

A.Team is the first members-only network of the world's top engineers, product managers, designers, and marketing talent, designed to help growing companies accelerate product development through the power of great teams. A.Teamers come together as cloud-based, modular teams to work on problems they care about for forward-thinking companies—with the freedom, flexibility, and autonomy they crave. For more information please visit a.team.

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with eight locations worldwide, it is the non-profit's mission to help bold entrepreneurs disrupt the status quo and create sustainable change. Since launching in 2009, MassChallenge has run programs in 18 countries, supported more than 3,500 startups from around the world and awarded over $17M in equity-free cash and prizes. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.

 

Mission

Our mission is to equip bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change.