by Kevin Schofield
This week’s long read is a survey — but mercifully one that doesn’t ask a single question about candidates on the November ballot. The local organization sea.citi, which bills itself as “a tech industry nonprofit strengthening our region by promoting civic engagement and building relationships between community, government, and innovation workers,” recently polled Puget Sound-area tech workers to test their views on a range of civic issues, their employers’ actions, and where they want to live and work post-pandemic.
The report buries the demographic data in the back, but it’s worth addressing it first to provide some context because tech workers are not representative of the general population in the Seattle area. Not surprisingly, the survey group skewed male, white, and middle-aged. They also are predominantly transplants to the area: 72% of them moved here as an adult.
86% of them are registered to vote; of those, 99% voted last November, and 95% indicated that they intend to vote this year. Consistent with that, when asked how they take action on their viewpoints on civic issues, they largely said that they do two things: They donate money, and they vote.
Their top three issues are homelessness, affordable housing, and climate change. Not too far behind those were racial justice and transit/bicycle infrastructure.
Their approach to giving is split: They give a lot of small-dollar donations to politicians and political causes, and a lot of large donations to nonprofits.
Perhaps the most eye-opening find in the survey is tech workers’ view on their workplaces post-pandemic. Over half of them want a hybrid work arrangement, part in-office and part working from home. Only 14% said that they wanted to return to the office fulltime — and 7% said that they expect their employer to mandate a full-time return. 80% expect to work remotely two or more days per week after COVID-19.
The survey also contains some fascinating data on how tech workers perceive their employers’ efforts around racial equity and justice as well as how many workers intend to move homes as part of embracing the opportunity to work remotely — and where they want to move to.
Kevin Schofield is a freelance writer and the founder of Seattle City Council Insight, a website providing independent news and analysis of the Seattle City Council and City Hall. He also co-hosts the “Seattle News, Views and Brews” podcast with Brian Callanan, and appears from time to time on Converge Media and KUOW’s Week in Review.
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