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From forced Working-From-Home to voluntary working-from-anywhere: Two revolutions in telework
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1744-3118
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2669-0778
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1987-2234
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1350-7030
2023 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 195, article id 111509Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The COVID-19 outbreak has admittedly caused interruptions to production, transportation, and mobility, therefore, having a significant impact on the global supply and demand chain's well-functioning. But what happened to companies developing digital services, such as software? How has the enforced Working-From-Home (WFH) mode impacted their ability to deliver software, if at all? This article shares our findings from monitoring the WFH during 2020 in an international software company with engineers located in Sweden, the USA, and the UK. We analyzed different aspects of productivity, such as developer job satisfaction and well-being, activity, communication and collaboration, efficiency and flow based on the archives of commit data, calendar invites, Slack communication, the internal reports of WFH experiences, and 30 interviews carried out in April/May and September 2020. We add more objective evidence to the existing COVID-19 studies the vast majority of which are based on self-reported productivity from the early months of the pandemic. We find that engineers continue committing code and carrying out their daily duties, as their routines adjust to “the new norm”. Our key message is that software engineers can work from home and quickly adjust their tactical approaches to the changes of unprecedented scale. Further, WFH has its benefits, including better work-life balance, improved flow, and improved quality of distributed meetings and events. Yet, WFH is not challenge free: not everybody feels equally productive working from home, work hours for many increased, while physical activity, socialization, pairing and opportunities to connect to unfamiliar colleagues decreased. Information sharing and meeting patterns also changed. Finally, experiences gained during the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of the workplace. The results of an internal company-wide survey suggest that only 9% of engineers will return to work in the office full time. Our article concludes with the InterSoft's strategy for work from anywhere (WFX), and a list of useful adjustments for a better WFH. © 2022 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 195, article id 111509
Keywords [en]
Engineers, Job satisfaction, Productivity, Software engineering, Case-studies, Digital services, Empirical studies, Global supply chain, Production transportation, Software company, Supply and demand chains, Telework, Working from home, Working-from-home, COVID-19, Case study, Empirical study, WFH
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-23761DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.111509ISI: 000875668800002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85139327922OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-23761DiVA, id: diva2:1705188
Part of project
SCALEWISE- Support for continuous growth in large-scale distributed software development, Knowledge FoundationSHADE- A value-oriented strategy for managing the degradation of software assets, Knowledge FoundationSERT- Software Engineering ReThought, Knowledge Foundation
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20190087Knowledge Foundation, 20170176Knowledge Foundation, 20180010The Research Council of Norway, 309344The Research Council of Norway, 267704
Note

open access

Available from: 2022-10-21 Created: 2022-10-21 Last updated: 2022-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Šmite, DarjaMoe, Nils BredeKlotins, EriksGonzalez-Huerta, Javier

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