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