First of all, we are privileged to be active in the software industry as we are better than a lot of people from other industries because we are pretty familiar with working from home.
We were more than prepared for this, since Wingravity was born as a remote-first company and 80% of our colleagues are key remote professionals, the smartest people we could find, with a significant amount of self-awareness and discipline, ready to solve the toughest problems. Hence, the location of their workplace has never mattered has had a positive impact on our culture and our ability to scale and overcome these difficult times.
Since COVID-19 is reshaping so many industries, causing them to close or randomly move in unpredictable ways, it’s automatically affecting the IT sector too, which is bracing for a financial hit for the rest of 2020. Service companies are hit harder than any other sector of the industry as they are working on fulfilling existing contracts, while lots of projects get canceled.
Just like during the last recession, giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple are benefiting from this situation and advertising thousands of jobs in the hopes of scooping up talent from smaller companies.
Until recently the demand for our skills was high, but with the entire world being under stress, the whole industry is facing a lot of layoffs mostly caused by travel restrictions – we cannot travel to client locations to discuss new projects, gather requirements or do workshops – but also by clients who have decided to freeze their IT budget for an unlimited period of time.
We still have the passion and dedication to do our job. The show must go on and so must software development.
Getting new projects is going to be a challenge in the upcoming months and the main concern is that no one knows when this will end.
Coronavirus as a chance to show value of remote work
Since the quarantine started, we’ve been using Slack a lot, as our primary communication channel for sending and receiving messages. We also meet “face-to-face” via Hangouts for a coffee break, or on Saturdays for our special edition of drinks out on Skype, while respecting, of course, the “good conference call etiquette.”
We’ve been fierce promoters of working from home from the very beginning. This was a consequence of being tired of living in this old-school mentality of business owners who demand mandatory on-site presence because “people can only work in an office.” For us, the people who can do their job with just a computer, working from home or from anywhere we want, we actually do more work and work longer as we are empowered to manage our own time and lives.
Obviously we are living in extraordinary times being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. Our hopes are that more and more developers will choose a job with a flexible work-from-home policy over one that doesn’t offer the same benefit. The remote work model must be seen under a whole new lens.
Even the companies that never considered allowing remote work, are forced to support it going forward and somehow forced to admit that it works.
The world after COVID-19 will not be the same, neither are we
After living so much in isolation and learning to communicate without personal interaction, we’ll be more grateful for everything we have and for any given day no matter the weather conditions.
Even though we all want to go back to normal quickly, we just need to wait more months for this to happen but some things never will.
We’ll learn a lot after this experience, but the most important lesson is compassion. We’ll never again take our freedom and privileges for granted no matter if it’s going to be a face-to-face conversation, a business trip, a walk in the park, or a hug.
At the beginning of the end, waiting for a new beginning
Now it’s a good time to contemplate the fragility of life, our interconnectedness with all living things, and to be inspired and fascinated simultaneously seeing the world coming together to fight this like it never happened before.
In the new beginning, we foresee companies that will value their online presence and they’ll invest in pivoting into a more digital business model and anything that can be done virtually will be. Also, the demand for developers will go up more than ever and the momentous days of software development are imminent as almost everything will happen online. Winners will be those who test and explore all of the associated creative possibilities. Anything that can be done remotely will be done so.
The tech industry will have a huge boost and it will gain more and more relevance once more and more companies will have to ask itselves how they can serve people remotely. They’ll be forced to adapt to new digital creative ways of doing business and they’ll become the new winners.