23 (118) 2016
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The tech industry – a new work order

by Arkadiusz Matras, CEO and founder, 4-IT Artists in Technology
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The modern tech industry environment is undergoing a paradigm shift towards human-oriented thinking. We work differently, we think differently about enterprise, we maintain our work-life balance differently than any generation before us.

Our goal and ambition should be not only to understand and adapt to change, but to be at its vanguard.

Looking at statistics from 2014, about a half of tech industry professionals worked remotely for at least some time. We could call it ‘working out of office’, but in fact in an increasing number of cases – there is no physical office to speak of. Telecommuting becomes more than a popular choice, it’s an expectation. Adjusting one’s lifecycle to a working schedule becomes a thing of the past we’d rather forget sooner than later. In more and more industries – primarily but not exclusively the ones that emerged in the digital age – people emancipate themselves from viewing their jobs as the axis mundi of their adult lives. Amid burnout, stress, depression, and the sense of disconnection that many experience in their nine-to-five jobs it has become clear: it’s just not worth it. Especially when statistics deliver proof that a flexible, human-oriented working environment results in higher productivity and greater satisfaction in one’s work-life balance.

The Flow

It’s not only the physical office space that we’re leaving behind. An increasing number of specialists no longer feel the need to remain attached to a position in a company, or to a company in general. Why would they? For the most part, even while one remains in one workplace for several years, they will take on one project after another, with little to none sense of continuity. There’s very little if any reason to stay put, if a more interesting project becomes available elsewhere. Something that perhaps pays better and offers a greater opportunity at self-development – and in more cases than less, one can take it on without even changing their actual physical workspace, be it a co-working hub, a home office, or a sandy beach with decent wi-fi. It’s not unusual for a tech industry professional to change jobs every few months without ever moving an inch from the comfort of their very own desk.

The new expectations bring about a great challenge to the corporate HR departments, agencies, and freelance headhunters. The still-predominant term ‘human resources’ becomes obsolete, or even offensive. What used to boil down to getting someone as much work as possible for as little money  as they’d be willing to accept has to become something else entirely. Less procedural and more – please excuse the term – holistic, human-oriented, and with an unrelenting focus on understanding the actual needs of both sides: the employee as well as the employer.

Everybody wins

That’s where we come around to the party which is seemingly waking up on the wrong side of the deal in the emerging New Work Order. But is the employers’ best interest actually in jeopardy? Certainly, companies and entrepreneurs not willing to adopt to the new, more flexible model will have more trouble assembling their staff. The top specialists ahead of the game – the very same you want to have working on your projects – won’t give a second thought refusing a job if it does not fit well with their working habits. However, those who claim that this is an employees’ market are failing to understand the nature of the occurring change – and to notice the opportunities it is presenting.

In 2016, most people won’t really need an office to run a successful tech enterprise. Keeping regular staff on payroll won’t do them any good either, in a project-oriented workflow. Depending on the project, nearly all of the development process in tech and IT has become completely space-independent. In most cases, all it takes to make an idea into a fully developed product is specialised people wherever, work performed whenever, and a good way to organise the distributed workflow.

Kraków-based startups working with 4-IT provide a great example of teams emerging in an instant around an idea. Such a feat was accomplished by a pioneering beacon and internet-of-things company – Kontakt.io. Another? Codewise, featured in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and winning the Rising Star 2015 award, was built from scratch securing the best minds in the market. A well-tuned dedicated tech marketing hub of more than 70 people – managing director included – was brought together with the recruitment assistance of 4-IT. A feat that would take at least two years of trial and error to accomplish just a while ago, was now completed within just a couple months. Things no one would thought possible just a few years back take place daily in the new IT and tech industry landscape..

Right here, right now

Partners such as 4-IT enable entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the emerging new model of work. You want the people in charge of your recruitment to understand your needs and know the best candidates for the job, personally – because that’s the best way to ensure the working environment you’re constructing is healthy and inspires creative powers. You want the external teams you’re hiring to work in the best possible conditions – be it the comfort of their home offices, or a dedicated co-work hub. You want the projects you’re looking to outsource to be developed by the select crew of specialists with a fresh mind over matter, never falling into routine. And if it’s an easy landing in the Polish IT and tech market you’re looking for, 4-IT will help you establish your presence or even offer you marketing guidance and PR support via partnered tech PR veteran specialists. That’s the kind of flexibility the New Work Order brings to the entrepreneurs and employers.

If  ‘employer’ is still even a relevant term.

In the modern tech industry the old patterns become obsolete as quickly as new, better ways of working emerge. Traditional companies are getting left behind in the race. The enterprises acting as partners tapping into the creative potential of the professional community in its dynamic flux – succeed and excel. Yes, New Work Order can be good for business – especially if you have a partner like 4-IT to guide you through this new landscape. But there’s something more important than that: it makes everyone involved more happy with their work and lives.

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