People respond to adversity in different ways. However, during the pandemic, software development teams that transitioned to remote work adapted to the change—and found they could achieve more than they thought they could.
Terry Simpson, Technical Evangelist at Nintex, says, “Working remotely presented a few challenges, and humans tend to focus on the negative aspects of change.”
“But many remote workers pointed out that family time, no commute, fewer interruptions, and overall work-life balance played a significant role in the experience,” he says. “That had a positive impact on productivity.”
Technology was key. “Tools like Zoom, Teams, Slack, document management, ERP, CRM and other platforms have allowed remote employees to work collaboratively and communicate efficiently,” Simpson comments. “Having said that, 39 percent of employees still reported that having access to software solutions to automate manual and repetitive work could improve their productivity even more. Technology is making us more productive, but most employees recognize there are still further efficiencies to be gained.”
Remote Work Lessons
Simpson says among the lessons that maintaining operations during a pandemic has taught his company, one of the most important is that businesses need the ability to react quickly to a changing work environment and its employees’ and customers’ needs. “Organizations that can recognize necessary changes and act on them quickly have seen the most success,” he says.
“Based on our experiences, Nintex is making several modifications to employee experiences going into 2021 and beyond,” Simpson says. For example, Nintex employees will work on a hybrid schedule of office and remote work. “Not everyone will be in the office every day, potentially going to the office one or two days a week in the future.”
He adds, “I know at Nintex, the concept of having your own desk will probably fade away. and we will all have a ‘hotel’-type setup where we work from a station for that day, primarily due to not being in the office five days a week.”
He says Nintex has also implemented a new time-off policy with flexible time off instead of a set number of days. “If you need time off, take some time off. Nintex has placed a lot of trust in its employees over the last year, and the productivity output has resulted in Nintex placing even more trust and flexibility with employee experiences,” he explains.
Simpson comments, “Happy and productive employees have a direct impact on company performance. By simply listening to employee feedback and implementing policies to support that feedback, the company is positioning itself for strong performance. Change in an organization is not easy but embracing technology to help with a changing environment provides a lot of confidence and momentum when navigating a constantly-changing environment.”
“Many companies were slow to adopt automation technologies prior to the pandemic, but once forced to make changes, companies are now seeing the benefits,” he says.
How Remote Work Will Shape Office Environments from Now On
As for software developers’ B2B users, whether they will continue remote work remains to be seen. “I’ll be interested to see how—and if—office processes will change when employees return to the office, since many paper-based and repetitive tasks are now fully-digital ones, and teams will be unlikely to revert to their previous processes,” Simpson says.
Providing them with flexible solutions that their teams can use—wherever they work—will be pivotal for software developers moving forward.