Web Factory LLC
Published in

Web Factory LLC

How WE Work From Home During Lockdown

There is no doubt that the pandemic has a huge impact on world events. Our dear friends from It.mk recently had a text on how the world’s IT companies deal with the pandemic and what challenges it brings. As expected, most of the readers were more interested in how local companies deal with the epidemic. Therefore, in a series entitled “How [local company] #WorkFromHome” from several interviews they will try to present what most of the IT companies that are from Macedonia or have offices in Macedonia do.

They invited us to be part of this campaign, and we were happy to share our experience from the 100% remote mode of work and the transition from 1 office to 60+ home offices.

Give it a read, it’s an honest interview, and it’s definitely not a guide on HowToWorkFromHome 🤗

Web Factory is a Macedonian IT company that works on developing software solutions. It was founded in 2009 by extremely young enthusiasts. They are active participants in the global digital transformation.

Their enormous desire and commitment to create a place where young talents will be motivated to grow professionally, to learn and work on complex and challenging digital solutions, is today realized in a super team of 60 professionals working on projects that successfully operate in Japan, USA, UK and across Europe.

In September 2019, Web Factory celebrated its 10th birthday. For all the years that have passed, they have never thought about going fully remotely [even though every team member had the chance to have the option and use remote days], because apart from the work itself, the flexibility, all of the social interactions and relationships between the team members, playing games, lunches and coffee in the morning, are what build the team. They say that in the past 4 weeks, that is exactly what they are missing. The team :)

For the new way of working, the challenges and the changes, but also the continuity in the growth of the team even in this difficult period, we talked online with part of their team.

How do you deal with these difficult working conditions?

The effects of the whole pandemic are very sad. The life and activities of each individual on the planet have changed significantly.

We are one of those companies that, due to digital skills, way of working, agility and information, could most easily transfer from home to work from the second week of March. So, for us, these were not difficult working conditions, if we compare them with other sectors, but only the way of working and the physical location of our office have changed. From one big office, we are now in 60 individual, different, home offices. Currently, we also do all the interviews for new team members via video calls, because the health and the prevention measures are above everything else.

So far, we are doing great, the whole process has not stopped at all, only all the meetings and gatherings have been transferred 100% digitally. We also haven’t noticed a drop in the team’s productivity, so we are doing great, at least for now :)

In order not to miss our gatherings chats in the backyard or at our office bar, we created a Hangouts & Zoom meeting: The Yard. Everyone can join during the day, “backyard break” for coffee, lunch, chat with colleagues. We miss the sports activities, playing board games and our regular Friday karaoke or usual beer gatherings, so there are initiatives to socialize and out of the work meetings. For now, the most active members of the team are those who play Counter Strike. We have also created an internal guide with several categories about ideas about what to do with our free time during the quarantine, useful links, materials, entertainment, online events and we are constantly updating it.

What is the impact on work and customers?

We work for clients from Japan, USA, UK and Europe, the new situation did not affect our work at all. We have normal video meetings. The current projects are primarily from the Fintech and Healthcare sectors, as well as other innovative areas that are based primarily on the digitalization of traditional processes. We do not expect any of these sectors to be directly affected, at least not immediately, by the impending economic crisis. On the contrary, in this situation, people have especially seen the benefits of innovative ideas on many startups, applications and platforms that provide services that are available to us online. So, we would say that not only is the cooperation with current clients, partners and projects stable, but we also have several projects that we expect to start in the upcoming period.

The economic crisis will affect everyone, no matter which sector it comes from. Someone will be hit directly and fatally for the business, someone indirectly and with mild effects.

However, we must not allow this uncertainty to affect our motivation and productivity, because we belong to a sector that builds complex systems, solves enormous problems for the entire population, and as such, we can only be a significant support in this crisis.

What tools do you use to make your job easier at home?

Google hangouts and Zoom make it easier for us to work and communicate with the team. We continued with all the meetings, stand ups and planning, only in online format. We also use Slack to communicate with customers and Rocket Chat for daily and short chats with everyone from the company.

Jira is our centralized place for managing and monitoring all of the projects and tasks.

In fact, we continued to use all of the tolls we’ve being using previously, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Trello, Toggl, GitHub, maybe we only emphasized greater and clearer descriptiveness in viral communication, because we simply cannot personally explain bug to the colleague who is sitting next to us with a minimum description of the task.

Did you have a specific challenge that you may not have been able to anticipate?

We can say that our work is going exactly the same as when we were all present in the office. We all very easily and naturally switched to online work, which so far does not affect the productivity or availability of team members at all. As a first challenge, we would like to mention that at the time when the whole team worked in the same office, we talked and explained to each other everything in a more natural way, questions and answers were talking less time. Now that conversation has shifted to online chat, which at times means longer written communication to explain ourselves, which usually ends up with an online call.

The second, and not so big challenge, but certainly an unforeseen change, is that part of the team had to go on a trip to London in early March, and due to the security measures we immediately canceled the trip.

And the third challenge is the interviews with the new potential members of the team. We currently have several job openings and for the first time, we are forced to do the interviews online. The applicant does not have the opportunity to come to our office, get to know a part of the team in person, feel the atmosphere of a normal working day and stay for a beer after the interview, but the whole communication is through a video call.

Also, we are all more than aware of the psychological moment of each individual in this condition. Fear, feelings of helplessness, and uncertainty are present in every one of us. We are aware that this way of working with the additional development of the pandemic will be further complicated. We hope that our team culture will naturally, spontaneously and successfully be at least an additional support to the whole team, to our families, and together we will endure and help in the upcoming period of local and global recovery.

The best and worst of the new way of working?

The best thing is definitely that no one is in a hurry to get to work. You get up at 9:50 and at 10 you are already in a meeting. Of course, we have completely flexible working hours from the very beginning of the company, and we have already developed our individual daily work plan that fits with the company team meetings, so this is an addition to that flexibility. Home-cooked food is also a good thing. By the end of the pandemic, we will all become top chefs according to the results so far. And one very unforeseen good feature in this way, 100% remote work, is that we are all pressured to be much more independent and we can practice full individuality at work.

The worst thing is that we all miss the energy and the daily presence of the team, social interactions, the comfort of the offices where in addition to work, we talk about many other positive topics and have the most fun activities together. We miss the normal working day. Physical activity is minimized, we have almost no activity, we can not lie that we exercise a lot at home. One of the hardest things is also putting a line between ‘home and work’ activities. Somehow the two things in most of the cases merge into one. But we believe that we will improve in that and we will have much better time management.

We sincerely hope that we will overcome this situation, we will be a support for the other sectors that are directly affected by the situation and that we will see each other soon at some of our next events!

*The original interview in macedonian was published on this link.

If you are interested in hearing more about our efforts to build one of the best workplace cultures in the world, follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, read our clients reviews on Clutch and reach out.

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We think in terms of innovative ⚫ Digital solutions.

We create complex end-to-end systems that deliver ⚫ Outstanding results.

We perform the most effective development in a ⚫ Streamlined process.

We impress both end-users and ⚫ Clients.

Every day, we challenge the technology of tomorrow.




We evolve with the digital world around us.

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