The pandemic and the shift to remote work has affected every aspect of the company’s operation. How did it impact the technologies you use?

When developing from home, we have to maintain efficient communication and regular coordination within our teams. This is so that everyone has access to all the information they need. The pandemic didn’t affect our choice of technologies or our work model, regardless of whether we work from home or the office.

Regarding the collaboration technologies we use in the company, we viewed the first wave of the pandemic as a stress test. Our IT department handled it very well. We didn’t notice any serious issues when switching to remote work. From an operations point-of-view, we recorded an increased number of users on our largest enterprise solutions as well as smaller projects. But even with this increased load, our solutions didn’t show any instability or delayed response.

Was the new situation beneficial for QBSW in some way?

In some market segments, the pandemic caused an increased demand for new software solutions. I’m talking mainly about areas related to sales and client communication. Our customers realised that they need to optimise some of their activities and communicate more closely with their clients.

Even though the restrictions related to the pandemic have affected all of us, I think we can agree that it has accelerated the transformation in current workplace practices. It has moved us towards greater flexibility in working from home or another remote location, so long as the employees can ensure that they have access to adequate internet service.

How did the project teams cooperate remotely? 

Before the pandemic, we used remote communication with colleagues from our various branches as well as our foreign customers. Unfortunately, the pandemic made it such that we are unable to meet our customers in person. We are overcoming this difficult period by focusing on two primary objectives. The first one is building trust with clients while we cooperate on projects remotely. The second is providing precisely defined rules for evaluating project success in a remote environment.

Using suitable internal communication tools such as Slack is essential for good remote team collaboration. We introduced Slack as a company standard long before the lockdown, and it proved to be very useful. Thankfully by the time we moved our operation to our home offices, we had already mastered many of Slack’s features and options. For example, we used it for screen sharing. We paired it with productivity tools like Miro, Lucidchart, or Evernote. We also used Webex and MS Teams for conference calls with clients.

Our experience confirms that the success of remote work management is greatly influenced by well-formulated task assignment and the effective use of diagrams and schemes to highlight technical solutions. These provide our clients with an overview of the solution, the lack of which would significantly complicate our joint discussion.

Did remote work affect productivity in any way? 

Many people think remote work is more relaxed and less complicated for the employee. However, it seems to me that remote work demands more self-control and discipline. On the other hand, this can be rewarded by the saved time that would have otherwise been spent on commuting.

I want to thank our colleagues for making sure that the quality of our work didn’t suffer during the pandemic, either during the development or the operation of our solutions.

Did any technological trends emerge from this situation?

Both the public and our clients are becoming more interested in the security of software solutions and the possibility of data theft and misuse. We see this in an increased concern about prevention. This in turn affects how the clients approach software as creative work.

In the context of the pandemic, the trend of being online and building solutions that are platform-independent and accessible to as many users as possible is becoming very prominent.