3 big changes CXOs plan to do in post COVID era
3 big changes CXOs plan to do in post COVID era
Covid-19 has led many of us to wonder about normalcy: when will everything “return to normal,” and what will a “new normal” look like?
It is fascinating to wonder when things will return to normal, but the fact is that it won’t – not the old routine anyway. But we can achieve a new kind of normalcy, even if this bright new world varies in significant ways.
We reached out to different tech CXOs to know their thoughts on 3 big changes they will do in their process once normalcy comes in. Here’s what we got to know:
Leaders are taking the opportunity to give their employees more authority and, for many of them it has been a great chance to discover that they can trust employees to manage their own agendas and schedules. In fact, At CodeGrip employees “have the flexibility” to work from home even after the pandemic is over. To work effectively from home, we made sure that everyone has the technology they need, a separate workspace, Internet access, a workable schedule to stick to, and Slack.
During our conversation, over 80% of leaders too wish to continue working from home post-pandemic. Around 60% said that more video calls and fewer in-person meetings will happen now. Video conference calls have become more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies will want to protect employees and clients alike in a post-COVID world.
The graph below shows the top changes that CXOs reported they intend to do once normalcy comes in
The graph shows the Top changes reported by CXOs
While companies as a whole may adopt work from home and continue to experiment with different ways of working after the crisis is ended, CXOs want to be more hands-on in learning about their employees’ values, interests, strengths, and motivations.
Now all of us will need to get used to working from home. This won’t apply to every industry, but it turns out many people can actually work from home productively. Enforcement such as work from home will change the workplace forever. The lockdown has driven companies around the world to adapt to new ways of working and doing business.
Here are the excerpts from the interviews from the leaders in their own words
- Kurt Cagle – Editor of #theCagleReport
- Fari Schlake Founder of IconicChat
- Ankit Purohit Co-Founder & CTO at Wve Labs
- Vlad Larin founder of Zeroqode
- Taylor Jacobson Founder & CEO of Focusmate
- Yvonne Karwig from Studio 3T Software
- Sam Sur Founder of CodeData
- Rick Ros from Fillthedoc
- Sean MacNeill Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for VC/PE Firm
- Sandeep Johri CEO of Tricentis
- Sambhab Thapaliya – Chief Executive Officer at ASMI
- David Dulany Founder & CEO of Tenbound
- Luke C.-H. Lu Founder of Unusly
- Krunal Shah Co-Founder & CTO at Third Rock Techkno
- Stu Frost CEO & Founder Geminos
- Krishna Chidambaram Chief Executive Officer at Rapid Digital Services
- Pankaj Parekh Chief Executive Officer at Security First Corp
Kurt Cagle – Editor of #theCagleReport says:
1. We are in the midst of a pandemic that has halted the economy for about a month now, and like any system that encounters an immovable obstacle, that’s tearing the economy apart. It will leave one working person in three unemployed, and will likely radically change the airline industry, the automotive industry, the oil economy, tech, retail, supply chain systems, health care, finance, insurance, and on and on and on. Normal has not yet been defined, but it will not be normal that existed in January of this year, and I think that anyone expecting (or waiting for) it to return to that is going to be in for a rude shock.
2. I’m shifting my focus from creating software to creating courseware, writing an adjunct book that will (hopefully) help people prepare for what will likely emerge from this, and using this opportunity to expand my network of contacts and help them (and myself) through these trying times.
3. It’s been underway for a while. I did not think we’d be facing a pandemic, though I worried about one, I did figure we were setting ourselves up for some kind of a black swan event that would upend the way that we operate as a society.
As such my actual daily routines have changed mostly in the time I work from home vs. from a coffee house. It’s accelerated my desire to move away from software development and into data journalism, as I see the latter being a growth industry that the coronavirus is only accentuating.
Fari Schlake Founder of IconicChat says :
My view is to always live a long-term strategy, “flatten the curve” of flood and ebb in life in terms of operations, so you are prepared and there is not much talking of Normalcy vs. Crisis!
I am a living example of my following strategies, that’s why, this crisis has not changed much in my daily routines, people, and work policies other than the general enormous empathy with the hardship that many of us are going through!
Here are my values and strategies:
1: Whatever we do has a global impact! Much farther than myself, my family, my community, and my country! How can I be a more responsible world citizen?
This goes across the lines: Our daily decisions, behavior, talks, ideas for innovation, company policies, even as we are seeing with Corona Virus today: down to the very private personal care! Whatever I do matters globally!
2: Plan Long Term and futuristic before thinking short term!
This might be a bit more complex. It involves a constant analysis of the world. Knowing the evolutional state and status quo on technology, science, and humanity. Study of world-historic events. It might even most of the time involve the reinvention of yourself, your path, and your company’s strategies.
3: People Come First! Unite People globally! Know what is most important! Always do the right thing!
I think this is one of the most valuable lessons of this crisis. We need to know that all progress and innovation in technology, infrastructure, society, implementations of ideas, cultures, languages, work, school, healthcare… should have one common purpose and that is to connect people, bring people together, and not to separate them by any means!
So if we all put people first, always do the right thing, think globally, and are futuristically inclined, there will be no major changes needed for “normalcy” or “Crisis”!
Ankit Purohit Co-Founder & CTO at Wve Labs says:
1. Employee Rotation:
For at least the next 6 months, we have a plan to classify teams into groups of 3-4 employees per project and rotate them daily with half groups working from home and the other half from the office – so at least 1 employee from each department (in our case technology) is present in the office at any given day. We are essentially looking at bringing only 60-70% of our staff in the office on any given day.
2. Re-planning office hygiene and distancing guidelines:
During the quarantine, we have created an in-house solution for touch-less, facial recognition attendance system that is enabled as an app on all our employees’ personal devices with high control and safeguards in place for any misuse. This will eliminate the unhygienic thumb-based bio-metric process that we earlier followed. The platform also has a robust dashboard for the HR team to evaluate attendance, time records, and leaves for effective resource planning. We are also planning to make this platform available to other companies.
3. Safe meetings
An important aspect of our process is our daily scrum meetings. We are planning to modify a part of our office space to have a glass wall that can be used as a whiteboard/projection screen so that intra-team meetings can be held with people (who are in office rotation) keeping a larger and safer distance from each other while the work from home rotation team is on a video call.
Vlad Larin founder of Zeroqode says:
1. We’re seriously considering going from “fully on-site” to “partly/mostly remote”
2. We’ve discovered the power of video in communication with both, the team and our customers – we’re shooting explainers, answers, and even thinking about using this in asynchronous sales communication
3. We’ve doubled down on our documentation and procedures – as it’s easier to explain things when everyone’s around, but when everyone is remote and moving at their own pace – you realize the immense importance of having a strong Knowledge Base repository
Taylor Jacobson Founder & CEO of Focusmate says:
1. I don’t think we will return to normal. I think we will evolve how we do most things to adapt to a world with this new virus. And I think many of those changes will be positive.
2. Through this experience, I’ve been in a continuous process of paying closer attention to my wellbeing, and in supporting my colleagues and loved ones to do that as well.
3. My hope is that we can use this experience to connect more to our collective vulnerabilities and evolve workplace culture to put wellbeing front and center.
Yvonne Karwig from Studio 3T Software says:
1. No changes are being foreseen currently, naturally in a changing world that is evolving to slowly decrease lockdowns over time, we will continue to monitor the situation.
2. One of the issues we’re trying to plan ahead for is the likely rush of vacation requests as and when lockdown eases. With teams of any size, it can be tricky to plan for a time when many employees want to take advantage of increased travel freedoms at once, particularly as the weather improves.
3. However, it is our top priority that we still continue to offer our customers and users the same great experience they’ve come to expect from Studio 3T regardless of this. This involves cooperation and collaboration within the company, to ensure no potential loss of service to those using our tool, as well as continuing to monitor the ways that users can contact us, to capture their feedback on a consistent basis.
Sam Sur Founder of CodeData says:
1. We will engage more frequently with our customers and prospects so we can make them successful every day.
2. We will adopt a distributed workforce – set up a number of smaller development and customer success centers at different locations instead of fewer, larger ones
3. We will add more remote monitoring and troubleshooting in our product so we can help customers/prospects from anywhere. We will set aside 2% of our revenues for charitable causes
Rick Ros from Fillthedoc says:
1. Think twice if it is really necessary to visit somebody faces to face or to book a flight for a meeting or congress. Sure, relationships are also built on meeting people in person but technology is so far nowadays. We can stay in touch on so many levels, this crisis proved it.
2. Stop with day to day meetings. Don’t waste too much time on meetings. During this COVID period, we realize more and more about how you can work efficiently. Every morning 10-15 minutes is more than enough to set goals and discuss what really needs to happen. More importantly, it saves time which gives you the opportunity to actually show more interest in the people around you. This goes for both business and personal life.
3. Don’t be afraid to invest in new technology. The COVID crisis forced us to change the way we work, but did we really make a step backward? Don’t think so, it challenged us to think outside of the box. In the Netherlands, legislation was changed instantly which gave us new opportunities when it comes to use cases for legal officers, notary, and education e.g.. We often tell ourselves “well, this is just how we’ve always done it”.
That’s the wrong question. It should be “well, let’s see how we should do it”, despite legislation or other so-called boundaries. What do we really want our ideal process to look like? Of course, COVID is one of the worst things ever happened to us. But it gives us the opportunity to do something with the way we handled things before because we are forced to look at things differently. So let’s make something positive out of it.
Sean MacNeill Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for VC/PE Firm says:
I would be glad to share some thoughts about running a Software company in these challenging times.
1. It’s going to be a while for us to get back to normal, I see a lot of confidence bias with many leaders right now and this can be a big risk in uncertain times as the stock market is disconnected from the reality of the main street and the devastation we have created to our economy due to the COVID shutdown.
2. High burn rate businesses are going to be in trouble, investors are going to be more interested in EBITDA positive companies.
3. Investing in the stock market and bond market this year will have poor returns so alternative investments with strong fundamentals and runway should be attractive once the dust settles and people start getting back to work.
Sandeep Johri Ceo of Tricentis says:
On the company front …
1. I will be more flexible on work from home policies.
2. Drive more tangible cost savings initiatives with customers.
3. WFH during c-19 has allowed me to ensure that I exercise every single day and I am hoping to continue that.
Sambhab Thapaliya – Chief Executive Officer at ASMI says:
1. We are going to be aggressive with customer acquisition. We have raised extra capital to go aggressive for the next 2 months.
2. We are steering our focused into 2 things: Product and Customer Experience.
We are going to focus on delivering the best product and getting feedback based on our customer’s experience for the next 6 months.
3. Innovation and Innovation. We think while everyone is playing defensive and not focusing on new product development this gives an opportunity for us to expand to wider arrays of the customer with the new products.
David Dulany Founder & CEO of Tenbound says:
1. Our company will go fully remotely. We had in our plans to move to a more digital and virtual model in 2020, and this crisis has massively accelerated that.
2. Our digital transformation has been accelerated and will continue unabated.
3. We will go on offense.
Luke C.-H. Lu Founder of Unusly says:
1. Be more grateful to workers on the frontline fighting for our public health.
2. Be more patient and supportive to people who might be suffered in the abnormalcy.
3. More hustling on my VR business for incoming 5G boom.
Krunal Shah Co-Founder & CTO at Third Rock Techkno says :
1. The hiring process will be changed as we will be more focusing on remote developers. As we have noticed more productivity and it saves transportation time.
2. The testing process will be changed as we have noticed that we cannot have multiple devices for the QA team as they are working from home. We are inclined towards using more cloud services like BrowserStack.
3. Security and Maintenance for software and hardware will be redefined as a team will be working frequently work from home
Stu Frost CEO & Founder Geminos says:
1. I haven’t been a big fan of remote working for startups in the past. I think you gain so much from the random interactions that occur when you’re in the same physical location.
2. We need to find a way to recreate these serendipitous benefits in the more structured remote working environment.
3. Along the same lines, we need to find a way to create social interactions that are such a big part of creating an effective, productive team.
Krishna Chidambaram Chief Executive Officer at Rapid Digital Services says:
1) Continue remote working for commuters who commute more than 2.5 hrs per day.
2) Implement collaboration tools like Jira, Slack, and Confluence
3) Practice working 100% remotely at least 1 day per week
Pankaj Parekh Chief Executive Officer at Security First Corp says:
1. Our company will have changed as we may get acquired.
2. We already were remote work environments so no changes to that and we would always make a personal connection with our customers so no changes to that as well.
3. So, in short, I don’t see a company should change something that was right before. We should have raised more money when we had the chance and now that has altered the company for good.
Final Thoughts :
Learning from an experience like this comes from observation. As people come out of this crisis and start getting back to work, the first thing you should do is have a talk about what everyone learned from the experiments they managed.
Some of those experiments were by authority, others were by choice, but we’ve all had to test out different routines and the way we work.
Remote working has always seemed a second-best choice in companies where most work is focused on the office while working from home is usually seen as ease off. But now that nearly everyone is obliged to work from home, the world has transformed in a few weeks.
With the new settings, there has been a big thrust for processes and productivity. In fact CodeGrip has seen a surge of over 1000% in signups in the last 2 months which we can attribute to more companies opting to automate code reviews and get more control with the quality. Code Quality is a difficult parameter to maintain, and various companies use methods that are either time consuming or require a great workforce. The only answer to maintaining a quality standard is using a supporting tool like Codegrip that does the job for you. CodeGrip eliminates this problem by becoming the one-stop tool for all code quality measures.
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Nonetheless, while we may want for restoration to what we knew as normalcy, all of these trends ways of working — remote working, virtual meetings, agile IT, and involvement with customer success have now become the new mainstream.