By Daniela Sugih, Summer Intern at Zero One Group
To what extent does the COVID-19 pandemic affect the technology industry? Can the agile mindset be implemented in other industries that are not technology-based?
These were some of the questions that were addressed by Zero One Group’s Founders Ardhito Hendranata and Anthony Khong and Data Analyst Nanistya Probosutedjo, during their speaker series feature for the Association of Indonesian Students in the United Kingdom (Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia United Kingdom) on 30 June 2020.
In the live YouTube webinar, the three speakers extensively discussed the impacts, as well as the health and economic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, on careers and the tech sector in Indonesia.
2020 is known for its uncertainty, whether it be natural disasters or sudden global lockdowns. Despite its adversity, history has shown how crucial periods could bloom into opportunities, as Ardhito explained in his presentation. Multi-billion companies such as Airbnb, Uber, Instagram, and more have blossomed during and after these precarious timeframes, so what is stopping us now?
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”
– William Arthur Ward
Timing is a key element to success, according to Bill Gross, the founder of IdeaLab, as he emphasised the pivotal impact of timing in entrepreneurship. Startups would benefit from taking advantage of what the market demands and finding their momentum as entrepreneurs and investors. As changes in the market are becoming increasingly evident, firms should seize this chance to create long-lasting impacts on people. Fortunately, Zero One Group is equipped to work from home during this blurry eon, and our services are digitalised to cater to our clientele amidst the pandemic.
With this ‘new normal’ shoved into our Indonesia’s hands mid-March, workers are forced to adapt on a large scale. Working from home exerts our soft skills, such as time management, self-care, and prioritisation of tasks, as our homes simultaneously serve as our offices. Likewise, white-collar workers are pushed to thrive on automation and financial management to optimise their output. The question is, who is taking care of blue-collar workers, who majorly rely on manual labor to make a living? This is one of many problems arising from the pandemic that still lack solutions.
The pandemic highlights the need for digital enablement solutions that cater to both white-collar and blue-collar workers.
Nanistya highlighted key characteristics of job security in the workplace during this time of unpredictability, which includes occupations utilising frequent automation tools and software, and firms with a strong clientele base. Some job opportunities include edutech industries and solutions for blue-collar workers.
In relation to adapting to the ‘new normal’, Anthony introduced a key player in Zero One Group’s working from home grind: the agile mindset. With the lack of face-to-face interactions, there is a demand for fast and frequent validation of business requirements and adaptable responses to variability during these times. Some methods shared during the talk include Scrums, which focuses on small groups to ensure effective communication, and OKRs (Objective + Key Results), which serves a tracking tool of the company’s milestones. These effective measures are two of the many instruments that adopt the agile approach.
An agile mindset helps you to create and effectively respond to change in uncertain environments.
Trust and transparency were other factors in ZOG’s success. The fast-moving principle of the agile mindset forces optimal communication between team members. Thus, weekly sprints and daily stand-ups are vital elements in team synchronisation and create a healthy working dynamic. In addition, GitLab is widely-used by tech firms as a platform to delegate tasks. These methods and tools ensure the productivity of the team, and are necessary substitutes for real-life office hallway conversations that are not possible in the time of COVID-19. Furthermore, when used effectively, they could generate better clarity in tasks allocation, nurture a harmonious work culture, and spark joy.
In a nutshell, the ‘new normal’ — as implied in its name — is very new to us. These are unreliable times that call for more reliable solutions. Adaptability and agility carve a path to new opportunities, such as forming new communities and adjusting to new knowledge. Although modifying our hard skills to the current situation seems to outweigh the need to adjust our soft skills, there should always be a healthy balance between the two. Hence, an amicable working milieu paired with a responsible and healthy relationship with yourself and your loved ones will greatly boost productivity.
Fortunately for us, who live in a fast-moving and innovative world, there are many technological platforms that could soften the blow of the pandemic in our lives and better equip us for a smooth-sailing transition to the ‘new normal’.
Stay safe, well, and healthy!