We are all trying to adapt to a new world created by COVID-19. As the coronavirus continues to spread, the economy and businesses everywhere have been severely impacted, and no one really knows what the so-called “new normal” will be. For now, most organizations have gone remote, not knowing when—or even if—employees will be able to return to their offices.
While some organizations have been open to the idea of working remotely, many have also struggled to shift to a remote workforce seemingly overnight. For software developers, however, remote work is nothing new. Many developers have successfully worked remotely before the COVID-19 pandemic even started.
“The Future of Remote Work and Software Development“ research published today by Accelerated Strategies Group dives into the long-term impact of a decentralized workforce on software development and delivery. ASG interviewed 347 industry leaders from around the world to gather and refine data on the impact of COVID-19 on software teams and their organizations’ ability to create software, and the importance of remote work tools and applications during the pandemic.
The ASG report, commissioned by CloudBees, revealed some interesting trends. The survey found 63% of respondents said digital transformation objectives have significantly or somewhat increased in priority. Business automation (61.6%) and the need for investment in creating contactless services (60.1%) have increased somewhat or significantly.
More than half of the respondents said the COVID-19 conditions have increased their focus on DevOps initiatives (51.75%) and increased their progress on cloud migration (52.25%). Also worth noting is the growth in companies’ DevOps and Agile adoption, with 46.24% of respondents stating they are using cross-functional teams, 55.64% practicing daily stand-up meetings and 43.23% automating tasks.
The majority of respondents (59.49%) to the ASG report saw an increase in productivity on software teams since the pandemic started. Forty-two percent of respondents said it has become somewhat easier to complete their work tasks in a timely manner.
However, feedback concerning respondents’ ability to manage unproductive distractions was mixed: 39.7% said managing these distractions was somewhat or much easier, 36.36% said it was somewhat or much more difficult and 23.48% said they had no change in their ability to manage these distractions.
When asked to provide insight into the potential negative impact of their remote workforce on productivity, more than one-third (38.6%) of respondents said there was no change, 27.58% of respondents indicated that teams were slowed down significantly or somewhat and 33.83% said things moved along significantly or somewhat faster.
The majority of remote workers (64.4%) expect to remain working remotely, either permanently or at least three or more days per week, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Only 12.7% said they anticipate returning to an office location full-time.
For the most part, the transition to working from home has benefited software teams. COVID-19 has not only impacted the global economy, but also business priorities and has accelerated business and software strategies. Though the future is uncertain, and no one has a clear picture of what the “new normal” looks like, there is a huge possibility many software and DevOps teams won’t return to the office—at least not full-time.