There is absolutely no doubt that COVID changed the world for nearly every inhabitant of the globe. In history, no event touched the global population so deeply, not just in health, but in all areas of life. It happened on a real time stage with web and mobile technology available to bring instant access to information, and other humans, even when we were separated. The longevity of this change in life did not just change our approach to hand washing or mask-wearing, it changed us as a humanity in how we perceive the world, and how we work. Of course, some pivoted more dramatically than others, but nearly everyone has a very different view of their life and path forward today than might have existed if COVID-19 had not come about.
One of the most profound changes that we have seen as a humanity, and particularly acutely in the United States, is how we view our work life and desired career. We have heard much of the “great resignation” where large groups of employees made the choice to leave long stable jobs in search of something that is more aligned with their now post-COVID goals and expectations. This has been driven by many factors, but money is rarely the number one reason, which is normally the case. Workers are seeking roles that provide greater flexibility, the ability to be remote and leave the commute to an office behind, and yes, even to avoid the awkward water cooler conversations that come with the traditional office settings, among other reasons. The interesting perspective about this seismic shift is that like in most things economics related, things tend to even out. Workers leaving a role, find a new role, and those employers losing employees will find new ones as they venture out for a new role. It’s a cycle, and it has largely balanced out. Of course, this created a huge challenge for employers as their need to hire and manage employee transition grew tremendously, but most have fared pretty well.
We often hear that employers are in desperate need of workers, and that is true. But that truth is not because of the great resignation so much as the growth the global economy has seen, and the shift of workers from low-skilled jobs to higher-skilled jobs. Simply, the economy has been doing really well. It was doing well before COVID arrived, took a bit of a dip to adjust to this jarring new reality, and then soared as humans learned a new pattern of life. As a global humanity, we even learned that we don’t have to buy 200 rolls of toilet paper next time it snows, there is plenty to go around.
So, what does all this mean for the tech industry, and specifically the workers that create all of this technology that carried us through the pandemic, and that powers so many new business strategies? Mostly, it means that the need to develop, hire and retain technology staff is harder than ever. But, if a business can sort out a strategy that is effective at finding great people, training them, and supporting them to have the sense of income and fulfillment that the individual needs to feel successful, that business can win, and win big. In the end, what the pandemic taught us is that “it’s all about the humans.” If we can build a family of team members that care about their work, and their co-workers (even if via a zoom, meet or teams meeting), and they are allowed to do their best work in an environment that aligns with their needs in life, that team will stay strong, help develop new team members and stick around a lot longer than they might in another environment. All workers spend a large part of their lives doing their job, and since we know money is not a primary retention tool, the pandemic lesson that is the clearest “signal in the noise” is that in technology, and really all industries, “it’s all about the people.”
Technology is changing, and so are the needs for skilled professionals to develop software, design great interfaces, manage server instances, test and be sure the tech works and much more. OPG is all about our team and our people, they are what make us a successful firm that is nearing 18 years old. The people matter, and here at OPG, they are highly valued. The tech industry has a bright, even if different, future having learned how to operate with the reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic in our mirror.
If you want to meet some of our team, and have them work on some exciting projects for your firm, please reach out. We’d love to talk to you!