If you left Utah to seek a job in the technology sector and then moved back, it was most likely because of the outdoor opportunities here. That’s part of the finding of a survey of the state’s tech employees conducted by Utah Outdoor Partners, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.
Utah’s tech sector is the fastest-growing industry in the state and offers high-paying jobs that encourage a flexible work-life balance. The state’s easy access to wilderness provides many outdoor recreation opportunities year-round. And that’s often used as a recruitment tool for marketing Utah as a place where a work/life balance is accessible, enjoyable and awe-inspiring.
“The amazing access to outdoor recreation and public lands in Utah are key factors to the economic growth of the state,” said Pitt Grewe, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation. “This report shows that people working across different sectors appreciate the quality of life that Utah outdoor spaces provide. Foosball tables and sleep pods are a cool perk inside an office environment, but not as important as what’s outside the office.”
The Gardner Institute and Utah Outdoor Partners partnered with Silicon Slopes to distribute the survey. Over 250 respondents representing 141 unique companies participated.
One stunning finding was that, of Utah natives working in the tech industry that left Utah and moved back, “82 percent said outdoor recreation and/or access to wilderness and public lands was the most important factor in moving back, over family (76 percent), career opportunities (76 percent) and cost of living (61 percent).”
The survey also found that of the 38 percent who chose to stay in Utah despite a higher salary offer elsewhere, 85 percent said outdoor recreation and/or access to wilderness and public lands was their most important factor in choosing to stay. Fifty-nine percent utilize Utah’s outdoors once a week or more.
The full report, “Utah Outdoor Partners Survey of Tech Sector Employees,” can be found at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute website at gardner.utah.edu.