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The ‘Big Stay’: The next workplace trend?

There have been plenty of trends affecting retention and attrition over the last few years. The Great Resignation, “quiet quitting”, and “quiet firing” are just a few of the negative buzzwords to hit the business world. The “Big Stay”, however, is far more positive.

user iconJack Campbell 23 February 2024 Careers
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Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, HR Leader.

This is a great sign for organisations, with reduced turnover of skilled staff. Research from human resources analytics company HiBob found that, in 2022, sixty-three per cent of employees planned to leave their employer. This figure dropped to 18 per cent in 2023.

So, what has driven this turnaround? Increased job satisfaction may be a key factor in the Big Stay, with 80 per cent of respondents noting they were happy with their work/life balance, up from 39 per cent in 2022.


Satisfaction with co-workers has also increased, climbing from 23 per cent in 2022 to 51 per cent in 2023.

Tech workers are leading the job positivity charge, with almost all (96 per cent) of Australian tech employees claiming they were satisfied in their role.

“Even against the backdrop of a softening labour market, young tech professionals are optimistic about the year ahead. This increased job satisfaction, combined with the cooling job market, has created the perfect storm for ‘the Big Stay’ to hit Aussie shores,” said Damien Andreasen, APJ vice-president at HiBob.

“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 per cent) beat out a better compensation package (52 per cent) as the top reason new opportunities are explored.”

What’s driving such strong levels of satisfaction among tech workers? According to HiBob, 57 per cent said trust was the top factor, and 53 per cent said it was the resources available. Another 49 per cent said they are given independence and aren’t micromanaged.

Interestingly, flexibility isn’t driving job satisfaction like it once did. Forty-seven per cent of young tech workers claimed they are instructed to be in the office five days per week. In fact, 49 per cent said they prefer working onsite. That doesn’t mean it has fallen to the wayside, however.

“This growing preference for office-based work begs the question – is the tide turning on the work-from-home trend for this generation? Not necessarily – greater flexibility is still one of the key reasons employees look elsewhere (40 per cent), 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,” concluded Mr Andreasen.