Many of you reading this will like me be working from home! I don’t think any of us saw it coming and it’s been one of the major challenges of dealing with COVID and our new working life. Many companies returned to the office after the first lockdown but soon found themselves dispatching their staff back home when the next shutdown hit. For many of the big tech hitters, such as Microsoft and Twitter, this isn’t a new concept and they have continued to encourage working from home. Some like Twitter went a step further, offering this as a permanent solution if staff asked.
This home working move is of course far easier for many within the IT industry, especially with the wealth of collaborative platforms. Zoom has seen an incredible boom in demand, and Slack was notably bought for $27 billion by Salesforce. Here at BIT we have found Microsoft Teams to be an an invaluable tool for maintaining social interactions with colleagues.
Before writing this I discussed the pros and cons of working from home with friends and colleagues , it seems that people sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. There are those who are loving the time at home, as it creates time to exercise and spend time with family. These people would happily make the move permanent. But for others working from home can be complicated. Whether you are dealing with home-schooling or the challenges of remotely managing a team, this new world order is proving difficult for many.
As we bed in to our third lockdown, with no clear end in sight, the reality that remote working may be here to stay is starting to sink in. It’s important for companies to look more closely at the benefits and challenges. One consideration is how do you encourage communication in a remote learning world. Silicon Republic released a great article on how to maintain productivity during remote working, and one of their key messages was to ensure inclusion across your team, making sure that you devote the same amount of time to each member. The article is a good read, and covers some of the basics as well as things you may not have considered.
The IT sector has been extremely lucky to have seen an increase in business. Companies who have neglected their on line presence have had to adapt swiftly. As a result in this demand for tech and digital knowledge there are more unfilled vacancies in IT role. While some of us are working hard to plug that gap and help people change career if they have found themselves unemployed due to the virus, it is likely that this shortage is going to grow, as more small companies realise the importance of online presence and larger companies expand the size of their teams.
The government is providing assistance and support as there is a realisation that many pre-covid careers will disappear. Unfortunately the reality is that, like Blockbuster, sometimes we have to adapt to survive and as a country we cannot afford to pay furlough indefinitely. So over to you, we’d love to hear your stories ! Have you had to adapt your business? Are you looking at a career change into tech or something similar? It would be great to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Sandra Olmesdahl, BluescreenIT Data Analyst