Have you noticed that more and more and more of your business associates and friend are boasting about how their productivity levels skyrocketed after switching to working from home?
The phenomenon is not equally present in all industries but the digital sector seems to have profited the most.
We will attempt to shed new light on the impact the new coronavirus pandemic has had on productivity levels in the IT industry.
Better time management
One would think that time management in a home office is poor is due to numerous distractions (e.g. children, the traffic outside, something interesting on the TV). However, there are actually more distractions in the office, such as hallway hellos, incessant meetings (to which people are constantly late), grabbing a quick cup of coffee, etc.
Don’t get us wrong, business meetings and consultations are still held online but Skype or Zoom are much more (time) efficient. You can join, mute, or leave the meeting whenever you like, allowing you to multitask, for instance.
Namely, remote workers’ distractions last shorter than the ones of office workers. For instance, a family member can make you a cup of tea, so you needn’t break the workflow. For many people, being near their family as they work is a huge motivator they never had back at the office.
Focus on agility
Instilling agile principles is another technique that boosted productivity. Agile is the new method of working that doesn’t stress the process but rather the worker. The emphasis is on iterative planning and incremental delivery of tasks.
Agility is a working principle that originated from software development, as it was ideal for meeting business objectives and delivering value before schedule. For instance, agile team meetings keep all team members engaged, boosting their level of confidence in the process.
The time to complete digitization
Ever since the late 1990s, numerous industries have set off to digitize their work to work operation. However, as folks were sent home during the first half of 2020, managers found out through internal controls and audits that there were still documents hart exist exclusively in the printed form.
That’s why the COVID-19 pandemic presented the perfect opportunity to finally complete the digitization process that commenced years and even decades ago. Without it, it would be impossible to increase productivity, as all forms and documents have to be digital.
The rise of cloud computing
If the rise in productivity occurred in a specific space, then that would be the cloud. Namely, cloud computing facilities a virtual workspace that is way “bigger” than any office.
Digital agencies and software developers have many associates across the globe, so working from home during the pandemic had united them all. Cloud computing enabled companies to fully realize their human resources potential.
Furthermore, cloud computing made it easier to access files and other types of documents. Unlike the office where a trip to the storage room is inevitable at least once a year, working from a cloud means that everything is a click away.
Collaboration tools (of the trade)
Although many companies have embraced project management platforms before COVID-19 struck, the pandemic made it mandatory to have a solid communication tool. Trustworthy project management software is much more than a messaging app, as it acts as cloud storage for files.
Moreover, you can use the platform to delegate activities (hence the “management” in the title) and set deadlines on tasks. However, collaboration tools need to have a functional communication app integrated into the platform.
This way, workers won’t have to use external platforms, such as Facebook Messenger or Viber. By keeping all messages and attached files in one place, you are improving coordination and more importantly, assuring business correspondence is safe.
Simulation is the new buzzword
You would think that restricted access to hardware due to frequent lockdowns would have slowed remote teams down but no! Luckily, there are platforms that simulate physical hardware which was in development long before COVID-19.
As the pandemic struck, the development of simulation platforms went into hyper-drive, as workers needed access to (simulated) hardware pronto. Building hardware models using simulation allows developers to have hardware models stored locally for ease of access.
Nearshoring became a business practice
As we will write in detail, later on, outsourcing was nothing new during the pandemic. However, the practice of nearshoring became more widely adopted across industries. Offshoring is nice and all but a nearshoring location is more suitable for the pandemic world.
Namely, in a world where travel restrictions are changing by the day, you want to keep your remote team close. Moreover, companies benefit from improved control of an intellectual property. In some cases, the language barrier and the cultural gap are virtually non-existent, which improves communication.
The switch to remote hardware
Remote workers aren’t the only novelty when it comes to doing business during the new coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the outbreak, developers were heavily involved in software projects that required physical access to hardware.
However, as physical access to hardware became restricted, the switch to remote hardware had to be made. For instance, clients and developers can connect to equipment using a VPN channel. Moreover, troubleshooting can be conducted remotely by utilizing various techniques and communication tools.
In-house software development is a thing of the past
As companies had all the workers in one office, they were able to develop software in-house. This allowed them project ownership but COVID turned things upsides down. Now, nearly all web development companies have turned to third parties for help.
In some cases, the entire software package is outsourced to freelancers and other developers but it’s more often the case that parts of software development end up with other companies.
Truth be told, as governments started to unlawfully lock people up, companies still gave their best effort to develop software in-house. As it turned out that this was impossible, they had no other option but to start cooperating with their competitors and freelancers to stay in the game.
We have mentioned earlier that fewer interruptions at home mean better productivity. The reason why workers are able to raise productivity levels is that content switching is down to the minimum. Namely, as folks can fully focus on the work ahead, their workflow improves significantly.
Unlike the office environment, remote workers can focus on a single task for hours on end. The fewer people switch between tasks, the more productive they get. Also, the content that is disseminated is more homogenous, so a single worker doesn’t have to switch content every hour.
Motivation works became personal
Do you know how a memo would sit on the company notice board for days without being read by everyone? Well, the same is going to happen in the digital sphere, as workers ignore notices in the general chatbox.
This had a severe impact on the workers’ motivation, so managers had to adopt a less hierarchical approach. Luckily, the messaging app makes it easy to contact every worker working from their home and encourage them to give their best.
A new form of rest
The final reason why digital agencies and software development companies were able to boost productivity levels is by redefining what rest and work pauses mean. When working from the office, pauses mostly had to be taken inside the company.
However, as workers switch to remote work, they are able to devise the quality and the length of their own breaks. This means that they can leave the house at 10 AM, for instance, to run an errand or they can pick up their laptop at 11 PM and work if they feel so.
Working remotely is here to stay
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures have literally forced many digital agencies to switch to remote work. After a while, they have realized that this emergency measure proved surprisingly fruitful, as remote teams were not only able to maintain productivity levels but increase them as time went by.
The same thing happened with online shopping, as many buyers got so used to online ordering and doorstep delivery that they are no longer visit brick-and-mortar stores. In the case of software outsourcing, the present situation is here to stay.
Gone are the days when software developers took pride in their work and didn’t want to share it with anyone. Outsourcing had become so frequent that some companies outsource more than 90% of their tasks. When it comes to remote work, the figure is 100%, as some employees are never returning to the office again!
The general impact the coronavirus pandemic had on society was tremendous and the IT industry was no different.
Once remote work became more of a necessity rather than a possibility, so did software development companies and digital agencies realized that working from home is a great way to boost productivity.
We have listed 13 reasons why remote work is more productive than office work, so the trend is here to stay and likely become the new corporate normal.