Get to know the challenges we have faced as an IT company and how companies outside of the industry can take advantage of our experience.
According to a European Commission report, before the pandemic, teleworking was common in industries such as IT, and services requiring specialist knowledge and education. Remote workers accounted for 15% of all EU employees. Because of the pandemic, this number has increased to 25%. Before the pandemic, Poland ranked 14th in terms of remote workplaces, and the leaders in the digitization rankings were as follows:
- the Netherlands
Remote work in 2020
March 2020 brought us a new reality and new concerns and challenges. In order to limit social interactions and to ensure the operational continuity of organizations, Polish companies switched to the remote work model whenever possible. It is widely accepted as a new standard, and global players such as Microsoft have announced remote work on a permanent basis. Due to the new situation, JCommerce also temporarily switched to remote work mode. For an IT company, it was much easier for us since we have already had the necessary tools for remote work and a suitable strategy, which was created and tested long before the pandemic.
New reality in IT companies – myths
It is true that the online world has become our second home, but there are many myths which have arisen around IT companies during the pandemic.
The most common ones are:
- The pandemic has not affected IT companies
- For IT companies, remote work is not a challenge
- IT sector employees do not worry about their jobs
- IT companies do not have to save money
- IT companies do not lack for projects
IT companies during the pandemic – what are the facts?
- The pandemic has affected all industries – The crisis impacted customers from various sectors: from manufacturing, to tourism, to trade and culture. For the first 3 to 6 months, there was a great deal of uncertainty, and customers around the world renegotiated rates with their IT vendors, reduced allocations and looked for savings by verifying budgets for software development projects. no industry is an island. The uncertainty of customers in other industries resulted in the withholding of investments and influenced the number of allocations and recruitments, including in IT companies.
- Remote work on such a large scale is also a challenge in the IT industry – While remote work has become standard among developers, some of JCommerce’s departments had not previously been working online on such a large scale. This is why HR departments conducting recruitment or administration departments had to face new challenges due to remote work, such as online recruitment and remote on-boarding. A lot also depends on the client’s project rules and the contract, so previously some developers worked at the client’s site (e.g. due to security reasons, in the case of clients from the financial industry). Therefore, changes in that field also had to be negotiated with clients, without whose permission it would not be possible to apply them.
- The pandemic caused a feeling of uncertainty in the IT industry as well – the new situation has brought an element of unpredictability. Employees have become less willing to change job – this is one of the conclusions of the Devire report “The IT industry in a new reality“. As the pandemic has affected all industries to some extent, including those to which we provide IT services, employees of IT companies were also subject to uncertainty related to their employment and new projects.
- IT companies were also looking for savings – new challenges, uncertainty, and the renegotiation of rates by clients – all this caused the need to redefine financial goals.
- There was a shift towards new technologies – in March and April we felt that the world was holding its breath, including our potential clients. The number of recruitment processes decreased but we noticed an increased interest in specific areas, such as Digital Transformation, Business Intelligence solutions, and implementations of Microsoft Power BI or Enterprise Mobility Management system – Jamf Pro.
Remote work at JCommerce
Switching to a 100% remote work model was a new challenge for us. But it was also an opportunity to work out new processes, improve cooperation models in projects and, first of all, learn about the needs of our employees. After the first six months of remote work, we conducted a survey called “Your opinion on remote work at JCommerce”. The survey was conducted on 10-18 September 2020, and 51% of the organization’s employees participated in it.
I encourage you to read the second part of the article, where we will share the conclusions of the survey.