While London ranks as the most attractive city in the world for the global tech industry, a new study has found that three out of four UK tech workers (75%) are willing to leave for pastures new overseas.

Digital experts are among the most in-demand workers but due to the transferable nature of tech skills, they are also among those most prepared to relocate, compared to only 61% of non-tech workers who would be willing to make the move overseas.

The findings come as part of a new study called Decoding Digital Talent, which is part of the ongoing Decoding Global Talent series from Boston Consulting Group, Totaljobs and The Network. 27,000 people were polled in 180 countries with expert-level knowledge in such skills as programming and web development, mobile application development, artificial intelligence, and robotics and engineering.

UK tech talent’s inclination to move abroad for work is similar to that of digital experts based elsewhere, with two-thirds of the global tech workforce admitting they’re prepared to move.

While London may be the tech industry’s favoured city, the UK on the whole is less attractive than its capital and must continue to compete with other markets in order to recruit and retain the digital experts who are crucial to the country’s economic development.

UK employers must act to attract and retain experts

The study highlights the key factors that the UK digital workforce are looking for in a job: a healthy work-life balance ranked as first, followed by good relationships with their peers and then with their managers.

The research shows workers are more concerned with wellness and human interaction while at work over financial compensation which was ranked less important.

The results show that British digital talent place more value in the day-to-day operations of their work, favouring more interesting and dynamic roles above learning and training.

Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, digital experts across the world were shown to favour working in large companies with a wider network of opportunities rather than smaller start-ups. 

Alexandra Sydney, Group Marketing Director at Totaljobs said: “This research has identified that tech workers across the world, particularly those in the UK, know what they’re looking for and aren’t afraid to move countries to find it.

“Any company keen to attract tech talent in the UK should look to create a workplace that encourages a positive and productive outlook; key demands for the UK workforce. By fostering a good work-life balance, alongside an open, friendly culture, employers can ensure that they retain skilled digital workers.”

Nick South, Partner & Managing Director at BCG added: “The digital workforce is highly skilled, highly mobile and in high demand. 75% of digital workers in the UK are willing to move abroad for work, which is more than other UK workers.

“Whilst it is good news that London remains the most attractive city in the world for tech workers globally, UK companies have to think very smartly about how we attract and retain the best UK and global digital talent.”

Similarly to the UK, more than three-quarters of the tech workforce in places such as India and Brazil would relocate for work. By contrast, only 55% of non-tech workers globally be likely to move. Whilst willingness to move is highest for digital experts in developing economies, fewer than one in four (38%) of the tech workforce in China would consider such a move.