What's it like working in the software industry during the pandemic?
The global Covid-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on industries across the world; world leaders are already realising that economies will be feeling the effects of the pandemic for years, and many industries have had to adapt their operations in order to enable social distancing and remote working.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, the software industry has been deeply affected by the pandemic. Not only have software professionals had to adapt their own operations to meet the requirements for social distancing, but the pandemic has also forced software developers and designers to rethink their approach to business technology solutions.
Draycir was fortunate to have the foresight to test the non-commercial roles on how they would work from home well before the 23rd of March 2020 when lockdown came, so we were able to adjust our working practices.
‘Learning to communicate in a different way was a challenge as we switched from talking face to face in meeting rooms to virtual, and the use of emailing was switched to collaborating using MS Teams. Using Teams has been a lifeline as we are able to do daily scrums as a group, share information as a group and ask questions where an answer would instantly be there from one or more of the team. This also helped all our new staff to learn about the products and processes of Draycir which gave the new people great confidence. Having the ability just to talk to someone at a press of a button has also helped with everyone’s mental health as we have been able to promote of the record chats and not just talk about work. As a business we have decided to open the office back up where staff now have the choice to work from home or the office, I believe flexible working will now be the norm for Draycir going forward.’
Chris Hazeldine Global Sales & Marketing Director, one of our team members at Draycir.
Working from home as a software developer
Like many other professionals, software designers and developers have spent most of the past 18 months working from home. Professionals working in customer-facing software installation and maintenance roles have enjoyed a little more balance, working on client sites only when necessary, but the rest of the time working from home.
For software professionals, working remotely comes with many of the same benefits and drawbacks as it does for other professionals. Remote working gives workers more flexibility, allowing them to manage their time better and perhaps enabling opportunities to maintain a healthier work-life balance.
For developers, remote working may even have boosted their productivity. Software development is very much a 'solo' career specialism, and with fewer meetings and catch-ups throughout the day, many developers are finding that they have more time to spend on the task that really matters: coding.
But the drawbacks of working from home are serious. From feeling isolated and disconnected from colleagues to struggling to work productively without being able to meet with clients face-to-face, 100% remote working is likely not going to remain the norm in the software industry post-pandemic, especially at software companies like Draycir where working closely with clients is a big part of the job.
Surging demand in the software industry during the pandemic
As professionals in business technology solutions, at Draycir we have not just had to contend with the impacts of remote working on our own workforce. The pandemic has shifted the focus of business software towards tech solutions that can be operated remotely from anywhere at any time. The trend towards software services that enable remote access to business files and programmes was already clear before the pandemic, but the shift towards remote working on a global scale caused a sudden surge in demand for this kind of integration.
Throughout 2020, the demand for most professional roles in the recruitment sector fell, as you might expect at a time when most companies were cutting back operations to meet reduced traffic across almost all sectors. However, according to a Randstad Report, during the first few months of the pandemic data and software development positions grew by 1% and 8% respectively. No doubt, around the world companies were already realising the shift in software requirements that would be triggered by Covid-19.
Has Covid-19 pushed businesses to re-evaluate their priorities?
It goes without saying that the impact of Covid-19 and multiple lockdowns on many businesses around the UK has been catastrophic. But for those businesses that have survived the pandemic, there may be one small silver lining to come out of the pressures they've faced over the past two years.
The increased pressure that businesses have been under during the pandemic has forced management teams across all sectors to re-evaluate, restructure, and streamline. While these changes might've been borne out of the need to survive during the toughest year many businesses will have faced ever, streamlining business operations and improving efficiency will prove useful to businesses for years to come.
To illustrate the changing priorities of businesses, let's take a look at some of the areas that businesses have focused on since the start of the pandemic:
• VPN and remote access networks are undergoing more serious stress-testing
• More businesses are moving to the cloud, using cloud-based storage and cloud software
• Software that works across a range of devices and operating systems is becoming key
• Automation is becoming more important, both in terms of increasing efficiency and accommodating social distancing
Why is Covid-19 driving automation?
Automation is an excellent example of how much the software industry has changed over the past 18 months as a result of the pandemic. Over the past few years, the push towards automation has been driven by advancing AI and machine learning capabilities which mean that businesses across almost all sectors can at least partially automate some of their most time-consuming tasks.
The pandemic has been the catalyst for snowballing automation. This is partly driven by the need to automate when workforces are stripped to their bare minimum and partly by a desire to reduce the number of 'human' staff needed in the office to improve social distancing and minimise overheads amid increasingly difficult market conditions.
One of our most popular software solutions is Credit Hound, credit control software that can automate many day-to-day credit control processes with a view to reducing the amount of time that companies spend on administrative tasks and freeing up more work hours that can be spent adding value in other areas.
During the pandemic, we've seen a steady increase in demand from clients interested in automation software like Credit Hound, as well as increased enthusiasm for integrated document management solutions that enable flexible, remote working across the whole of an organisation.
With businesses suffering from lack of staff due to the furlough scheme or from sickness, Draycir solutions enable you to do more with less people through the use of automation, for example our accounts receivable collections software can fully automate the collection of monies owed.
And that brings us to the real question: What is it like to work in the software industry during a global pandemic? It's been a wild ride, full of setbacks, challenges, and surprises, but it's also incredibly rewarding to help so many clients to flourish even under the most difficult circumstances. In a few words? We love it.
Get in touch
At Draycir, we help businesses to work smarter by reducing costs, improving cash flows, and streamlining operational efficiency. We are dedicated to creating products that are usable and contemporary for all of our clients. If you'd like to know more about our services at Draycir and how we can help you to streamline your business operations, contact us today to speak with one of our expert advisors.