It would be difficult to name an industry that didn’t struggle in the stormy waters of the pandemic.
The emptying of offices first sparked news of higher productivity as many of us began working from home. We reported feeling more fulfilled and focused. But it’s not been all milk and honey.
Let’s look back at some of the lessons that business learned along the way in order to adapt to the pandemic.
First lesson: the present and future is digital
The strongest and simplest lesson learned – if it wasn’t in the minds of businesses already – is that digital is not just for the future, digital is for now.
Despite Zoom burnout and Skype anxiety, online has facilitated business communication. Digital tools have become indispensable to how businesses communicate and carry out teamwork.
The instant nature of digital tools (whether it be video conference in nature like Skype or Zoom, or communication and project management tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams) obviously makes them enablers of faster workflows.
And like the inward-facing processes of businesses, the same goes for outward-facing ecommerce businesses, as shoppers get accustomed to the speed and ease of ecommerce.
Second lesson: fewer work hours = happier workers
With workers carrying out their jobs at home, a stack of research has shown that when work hours are reduced, productivity increases, allowing people to readjust their work-life balance.
For businesses that are concerned with worrying levels of morale and productivity among their workers, reconsidering the amount of work time to do the same amount has proved beneficial.
Yet these are general trends. Among software developers, for example, working from home has had mixed results. Some report a lack of structure and the ability to generate new ideas while working at home.
Third lesson: nearshoring the pathway for software dev companies
With offshoring often a source of mistrust and murky behavior, plus the increasingly congested global supply chain, nearshoring has become more and more popular for companies, and particularly so with software development companies.
During the pandemic, many companies were had to physically move their operations much closer to home – for many and varying reasons, such as keeping a closer eye on manufacturing processes, quality control, etc.
Nearshoring has stepped in to shore up control and facilitate closer communication. The pandemic, in practice, shone a light on the benefits of nearshoring that had always been there.
The traditional weak points of offshoring (such as linguistic, cultural, and structural differences) often tend to be cut out with nearshoring, in countries that tend to share much more similarities than distant, offshore companies.
When it comes to software development companies, they have reported many benefits, which include cost savings and easier searches for skilled professionals.
Fourth lesson: face-to-face remains essential
The role of the software developer is, in essence, solving problems and creating new ways of doing things in the digital world. To facilitate that, in-person communication can be essential.
Despite digital communication tools aiding teamwork and workflows, it can at times be difficult to convey specifics via email, for example. For the more nuanced tasks and issues that need to be fleshed out and defined, face-to-face communication cannot be beaten.
At the drop of a hat
Within the tech and software development industry, businesses must have the flexibility and agility to be ready for changes, anticipate them, and adapt accordingly.