Coronavir­us sur­prised us all. Although there were 2 months between the out­break in China and first cases in Poland, we had little time to pre­pare. In Janu­ary we didn’t take it ser­i­ously, in Feb­ru­ary we observed the situ­ation and in March it hit us. And it hit us strong. 11th of March was the day when the schools were closed and it was the start of our home office. Some (mainly par­ents) were forced to do it right away, oth­ers didn’t have to rush but all in all, with­in a couple of days, we switched to 100% home office. A new era began.

Like many oth­er com­pan­ies sim­il­ar to us, we wondered how the situ­ation affected our employ­ees and cus­tom­ers. Our focus was on safety and well-being of our team and effect­ive­ness of pro­jects. We addressed both of these top­ics to get the idea if we are cop­ing well in the new reality.
At first, in May, we issued an anonym­ous ques­tion­naire among our crew. 126 employ­ees (61% of all at that time) stated their opin­ion giv­ing us very good idea of the gen­er­al mood dur­ing home office.

87% of all people con­sidered their situ­ation to be good or very good. The remain­ing 13% addressed such top­ics as eco­nom­ic uncer­tainty or lack of f2f inter­ac­tion ham­per­ing their well-being. Sim­il­ar res­ults were observed when it comes to Codelab’s com­mu­nic­a­tion and decisions regard­ing COVID-19.
85% of respond­ents felt that they had access to the neces­sary resources and note­worthy 96% thought the team was doing well with remote working.

Three biggest bar­ri­ers that were stated were:

  •  lack of dir­ect con­tact with col­leagues — 42%
  • non-ergo­nom­ic home work­ing envir­on­ment (arm­chair, mon­it­or, etc.) — 35%
  • the need to com­bine work with care of chil­dren and rel­at­ives — 20%

We indi­vidu­ally addressed those imme­di­ately after the poll.
One of the very hot issues dur­ing Corona lock down was effect­ive­ness of the teams. Our ques­tion­naire showed that 37% of people describe their remote work as more effect­ive than in the office, where­as 57% as equally effect­ive. Impress­ive res­ults that point out that our employ­ees are happy with their home offices.

The above res­ults were later con­firmed by our cus­tom­ers. Each year we gath­er feed­back from them, this time we added a spe­cial coronavir­us ques­tion: “How do you assess the impact of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic on our cooper­a­tion in recent months?”. We eval­u­ated this in the con­text of four factors: effect­ive­ness of per­formed tasks, qual­ity in com­mu­nic­a­tion in the pro­ject, qual­ity of dir­ect 1:1 com­mu­nic­a­tion and tech­nic­al con­di­tions of cooper­a­tion (avail­ab­il­ity of equip­ment, tools, etc.). A vast major­ity (around 90% for each ques­tion) of answers from our cus­tom­ers showed that they see no change what­so­ever between work in the office and remote work. And, although it’s not dir­ectly related to the top­ic of this art­icle, but is def­in­itely worth brag­ging about, our NPS score was 66.67. Not bad, huh?
To fin­ish this sum­mary, I would like to point out that ques­tion­naires, meas­ures, KPIs etc. are one side of the coin but the oth­er is main­tain­ing a prop­er well-being of the crew. The trick is to be sure that the needs of all inter­ested parties (employ­ees, cus­tom­ers and even the gov­ern­ment in this case) are bal­anced and don’t get behind. Our story shows that it is pos­sible to achieve that. And now, to fin­ish with the punch­line, I would like to quote one of the answers from our questionnaire:

“Under changed con­di­tions, it makes no sense to main­tain the old cul­ture. It’s more appro­pri­ate to devel­op a new one.”

Kudos to Jan Zaborowski for data col­lec­tion and analysis