The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes in the labor market that will most likely stay with us for many years, or perhaps, forever. With the transition to remote work, the preferences and attitudes to work have changed. Gone are the days of rigid social and physical structures that many companies believed were essential to a productive work environment. The pandemic has shown us that remote work can be as effective as stationary work in the office. The main factor that is missing when working from home is social contact with colleagues. A study conducted in March 2021 by learning platform HowNow showed that more than two-thirds (67%) of remote workers felt disconnected from their colleagues, while half (49%) said this sense of disconnection was having a negative impact on how they viewed their job. There are tons of similar studies pointing to the same factor. We love remote work for its flexibility while hating it for our isolation from the social world.
Thanks to the development and wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, most restrictions are easing in many parts of the globe and companies begin to return to office spaces. The return to the workplace is a chance to create a new, more effective operating model that works for companies and people navigating a world of increasing uncertainty. This model also responds to the need for more frequent social contacts with work colleagues while maintaining work flexibility.
A hybrid work model incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work. There is no one common and proper model, each company develops their own based on its needs. Some might allow employees to choose when they want to work on-site/remotely. Others may require an employee to be in the office for a specific number of days.
Data from the Future Forum’s Remote Employee Experience Index shows that “flexibility is the key driver that makes remote work a positive experience and hybrid work a desirable model over the long term”. Flexibility influences the employee experience in many ways beyond obvious categories like work-life balance. The study also points to aspects such as stress and anxiety reduction, greater satisfaction with a working arrangement and bigger productivity.
How we work at VirtusLab
Data shows that employees want to maintain a flexible working model, even once the pandemic has ended. No wonder because it has proven to be better and more productive than most would have imagined possible. Consequently, many companies have started to switch to hybrid work, often ineptly, too rapidly and without a well-prepared plan.
For VirtusLab, it was natural to switch to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic since working from home has always been possible at our company.
In addition to the quick transition to remote work, we also managed to avoid redundancies. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 130 people have joined our #VLteam! And these are just the statistics for today – we’re growing fast, as for now, we have over 50 open positions! It’s incredibly intense growth for our company, currently employing about 300 people in general. This dynamic development is possible, among others, thanks to the implementation of hybrid work, which is very attractive for candidates.
Our #VLteam can choose when and where they want to work by efficiently combining in-office with remote work.
Everyone who wants to work from the office has plenty of space for themselves while maintaining sanitary restrictions. In the pandemic, we opened a second office in Krakow and found a perfect place for our team in Rzeszów. We are also at the advanced stage of searching for a new office in Kielce. A well-developed work model allows us to smoothly implement projects both in the office and remotely (as 100% remote work is also still possible). Our employee, after consultation with the team, chooses how they prefer to work. Of course, they are free to change their decision at any time.
We are proud that a flexible, hybrid model at VirtusLab is not just a selling point but a real work model that benefits our employees and customers.
Rafał Pokrywka, CEO
Return to the office in the hybrid model also meant a return to our very missed stationary integrations. So far, we had smaller ones, such as the Fan Zone for Euro 2020, walking and cycling tours around Krakow, meeting for our interns, kayaking for the Kielce team, Pizza Party for Programmer’s Day and recently we had fun at our company-wide integration VL Outing in Rope Park in Krakow. We are also fresh after our general company trip to the mountains, where we went hiking, relax in SPA, took the enduro training and rode on electric bikes.