How COVID-19 will Reshape Work Culture of Tech Companies in California?

Software Development
COVID19 work culture California

How COVID-19 will Reshape Work Culture of Tech Companies in California?

COVID has hit the world, leaving it in a devastating state. The real impact of COVID-19 has been on how millions of people work. If we talk about Californian workplaces, especially software development companies, they have experienced more rapid, dramatic shifts in the last few months than ever before.  

According to the technology experts, the actual impact of COVID-19 on the  way millions of people work and cope with modern work culture – might only emerge in the coming months. The professionals all over the world working in different fields are busy evaluating and absorbing the drastic changes in their businesses. Simultaneously, they are helping their forward thinking clients plan a better world, post pandemic. 

The sudden and unexpected move to the remote working in response to the crisis mentioned above has quickly changed the habits, exposed weaknesses, and developed new opportunities for the work environment. 

How companies have adapted to the current situation and what are they planning for a better future?

The crisis has forced various companies to let their employees work from home. While doing so, incapabilities have been observed between remote work and the already existing systems, operations, and culture. In order to overcome these, many companies have adopted new technologies and are still looking out for ways that will help them work efficiently in the future. 

Still, the top management of these software companies has to think upon and assess the long term implications of some of the critical variables into the system. 

According to some experts, an important initial step to minimize the severity of these abrupt changes is to have regular interaction within the organization.

But, what are those variables that are critical for the better management of these organizations? How will they help in the growth of the organization?

Let’s discuss these variables in detail.

1. Redefining the Space Utilization  
Since most of the employees are working from home, the post-pandemic world might bring a considerable change. These changes may be spurred by new thinking around how work will get done and space utilized in the best possible way. 

If these companies decide to continue with work-from-home, they will be able to cut down on the size of office space required. Alternatively, some companies might opt to maintain the current office size and use it efficiently to provide fewer on-site employees with working space

2. Functionality 
We all are aware of how this crisis situation has impacted the functionality of software companies in California. As for the post-pandemic situation, offices may set up amenities that will bring about better interaction when the people are together. 

This will require the companies to work on dynamic designs that would be capable of incorporating higher-end pantries, event and fitness spaces, gaming rooms, etc. The seating arrangement of the employees will be made in such a way that appropriate distance is maintained between them. 

These office designs will also include features that will enhance hygiene and make the employees feel safer. Offices will more likely to implement more hands-free and easy to disinfect fixtures and materials such as self-opening doors. 

3. Technology

The most important factor that has helped in the successful implementation of remote work is communication. The workplaces that have been reconfigured for remote working will now require to upgrade technology regarding communication.

For now, communication has been carried out through the various team channels like zoom, teams, etc. And, the majority of employees have been working efficiently from home. To continue this trend, companies have to look for ways to develop procedures to keep track of the work of the employees, efficiently assigning tasks to various individuals and teams. Also, they need to ensure better data connections for the employees, which would require them to invest in VPN systems. 

4. Enhancing Interaction
The remote working of employees has been possible due to the easy transfer of information and means of conversation among the employees. Well, offices nowadays are learning in real-time about the advantages and disadvantages of heavy remote working.

Most organizations are holding more meetings than back in the days when employees were physically present in the offices, where some of the communications took place informally and unscheduled. It is remarkable that communication is now more frequent and has been way better than before.

Still, companies are working on ways to make meetings more moderated. 

5. Costs

As work from home is trending, companies have significantly reduced the operational costs. But, they are still looking for solutions that will better help them in coping with the post-pandemic situation. These include the ways that would need less space to reconfigure for efficiency and office culture that readily accepts the remote work on a large scale.

Given the nature of pandemic, the offices have to ensure common area sanitization, air filtration, and other protections that are related to contagion.

Well, many of such moves will enhance the operational costs post-pandemic. Companies now are facing more pressure in reducing the occupancy cost than before. 

6. More focus on Corporate Culture

Companies planning to bring changes in the workplace due to the crisis should pay more attention to their work ethos. This means while bringing any change to the company policy, infrastructure – the main decision drivers should be the mission, culture, and corporate values. Yes, while we used to go to the office, we used to maintain a sense of community. Organizations would require to focus on tools that will be helpful in preserving the corporate culture in the interim. 

How have big companies in California responded to the easing lockdown?

As the lockdown eases, software development companies in California have taken necessary steps for their return to office premises. Many companies have open-office culture, where the mainstay is entirely incompatible with social distancing guidelines. Some of the companies have decided to ask the employees to select shifts, such that only a third of the staff is present at a time. The employees will be required to have their body temperature checked upon arrival to office and will be asked if they have come in contact with a person with cough, fever, or trouble in breathing. 

For instance, Apple Inc. has introduced daily temperature checks for employees, keeping them apart and creating some kind of health checklist. Also, the employees will likely be introduced on a staggered basis. 

Google’s campuses are designed for work freedom – attraction being cafeterias, volleyball courts, etc. They are preparing to bring change in their open-office culture.  

Facebook Inc. is in no hurry to start offices and is looking for ways to reconfigure its open floor plan. 

Amazon.com Inc. has asked the employees to work from home if they are able to do it in an effective manner and can stay until October. Those who wish to come to the office will be given face coverings. 

Future preparedness by the tech teams in various sectors

Various companies in California have made work from home a permanent business model considering the benefits like reduced commute times, less pollution, reduced operational costs, etc.

A Gartner Inc. survey of 317 CFOs and Finance leaders revealed that 74% intend to move at least 5% of their on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-pandemic.

Well, some companies see work from home as a permanent solution and have implemented the same. But, businesses must navigate the financial and operational challenges of the COVID. 

Let us explore some of the insights that can be combined with some tangible actions which can be taken by your organization to convert the complexity into a meaningful change.

1. Business Strategies:

CEOs today are facing more challenges than ever before. They are trying hard to analyze and navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them have prioritized their Now’s like supporting their people, customers, and suppliers, ways to stabilize revenues, align businesses to new ways of thinking, identify growth opportunities, etc. 

As for the Next, which is an unpredictable period with the possibly muted economy, there are new competitive threats and opportunities. There are fast-changing shifts in cultural norms, societal values, and behaviors. 

The leaders worldwide also face the urgency and complexity of reopening their businesses. The reopening of offices would require them to reinvent themselves. This would give an opportunity to many companies to build competencies – become more digital, data-driven, and work in the cloud. In addition to that, they need to have more cost variable structures, operations to go agile and processes to be automated; simultaneously creating stronger capabilities in eCommerce and security.

2. Customers:

This pandemic has forever changed the experiences – as customers, employees, citizens, humans. As a result, our attitudes and behaviors are changing. Companies will need to reconsider the impact on the way they design, communicate, build, and run the experiences that people need and want. 

In particular, companies have to rethink their capabilities of delivering relevant customer experience. Apart from focusing on how they work and where they work, they have to also think about how digital channels could be used in the most effective way, which can support business continuity through this crisis and beyond.

3. Workforce:

There is an unprecedented workforce disruption that the organizations are experiencing. The companies are still determining the ways they will work both for short-term and long-term as the workforce and communities try to function and perform, along with struggling to cope with what is happening in their daily lives. 

The HRs are helping companies navigate the massive workforce shifts, such that it will protect and empower employees, at the same time serve the customers and establish business continuity. They are more focused on developing agile workforce strategies which are critical to keeping the global economy viable – helping people to survive financially through and post-pandemic.  

Businesses, governments, citizens, and non-profit organizations have their crucial part in establishing a human-centered, system minded approach to promote shared workforce resilience.

4. Operations:

This pandemic has affected a whole lot of operations across the globe, forcing companies to restructure for global resilience. The leaders have to adopt agile ways of working as a response to the sudden crisis. They have laid emphasis on a chain of transformations that would help them in dealing with uncertainty. 

As we have already mentioned, companies have to shift their decision-making -> empowering team by a guided purpose, data-driven, powered by technology, and move on the cloud – to speed to market. It would require the companies to remove rigid structures and create a porous organization with modules that will simply plug and play.

5. Finance:

The companies have to build resources that will be capable of seizing new opportunities. Leaders have to act to optimize their company’s resilience.  They have to take actions that would help them in re-balancing their areas of risks and matters of liquidity.  

There have to be some actions taken by the top management to address short-term liquidity challenges, simultaneously solving costs and profitability and generate funding that would require them to invest in new opportunities

6. Technology:

Software companies are constantly working on enhancing technology to build strength in order to succeed. Since many other organizations have faced considerable IT challenges, they are pushing hard to cope up and rapidly operate in new ways. Most of them have been working on the cloud and if they have not been, they are planning to do so. Some of them have adopted Microservices software architecture, like Amazon, to set the ground for their cloud business. 

As the businesses accept a range of new systems, they continue risks, real-time decision making, workforce productivity, etc. Hence, the leaders must perform quickly in order to address immediate systems resilience issues and lay a foundation for the future.

Once this pandemic gets over, it will be important to establish long term strategies for greater resilience along with past lessons learned. This road-map will prepare the company for future disruptions.

Conclusion

The work culture in the state of California has been reshaped due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Work from home has become the primary solution for software development companies in California. According to a recent survey of professionals, 54% of respondents said that working from home during this pandemic has had a positive effect on their productivity. The reason being time saved from commuting, lesser distractions from co-workers, and fewer meetings. 

The companies have still planned to reopen offices and take necessary steps to let employees work in a safe and healthy environment. If you feel like sharing your thoughts on this, comment below.

Hardik Shah

Working from last 8 years into consumer and enterprise mobility, Hardik leads large scale mobility programs covering platforms, solutions, governance, standardization and best practices.

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    sgmi

    great read !!!! thank you for amazing content

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