With lockdown restrictions being eased across Europe, businesses have a big decision to make on whether to force a return to the office or keep a culture of remote working.
Hyperion Tech Chief Business Development Officer, Ori Zilbershtein, believes it is an easy call – remote working is here to stay. Productivity has increased during the pandemic and businesses are embracing the hybrid model that provides greater flexibility and perks to employees.
European Gaming caught up with Zilbershtein to understand how remote working has influenced product development and why the traditional office model is dead.
How have working practices in iGaming changed since Covid and do you expect these to remain in the future?
Before the pandemic, iGaming CTOs were fixated on the idea that developers had to work alongside each other in the same office to create new products. It was common that companies would refuse to hire candidates who wanted to work remotely – a puzzling approach given the well-documented skill shortages in Malta, one of the industry’s main hubs. However, Covid-19 has completely transformed the office setup and how organisations interact with colleagues and recruit new staff. Businesses are taking full advantage of the wealth of overseas talent available, realising the benefits of recruitment without being restricted to a certain geographic location.
The advent of remote working has reassured senior executives that allowing employees to work from home does not impact productivity. In fact, we have found the opposite with output actually increasing as staff feel more comfortable in their own surroundings and are not distracted by constant meetings.
How big an impact has Covid had on tech with people working remotely? Has innovation suffered because of this?
Far from it, instead we have seen projects completed more efficiently since developers have worked from home. Meetings and discussions have become more succinct and operational efficiency has increased as a result.
Simply put, time is wasted when developers spend every day in the office. Rather than finding themselves in endless face-to-face discussions between stakeholders, which often yield no real solutions, developers working from home are now able to spend more time writing the code that creates world-class products.
Many people claim to be more stressed since Covid because there of a lack of downtime, how can iGaming companies address these issues to ensure their workforce is engaged and efficient yet also happy?
That is a responsibility that should be shared between teams and managers at all organisations. At Hyperion Tech, we do not ask staff to respond to professional enquiries outside of working hours, unless it is a matter of urgent importance. Clients do not generally contact us out of hours, and of course there are instances when we can make exceptions. The key is to develop an open relationship with your partners based on trust and courteousness, communicating honestly throughout the process.
For example, when we do receive an out of office hours enquiry which is not urgent, we reply at the earliest opportunity when we are back working, which is never a problem. Of course, in those exceptional circumstances where a pressing matter needs addressing, then we are more than happy to do so outside of working hours. That approach brings tremendous mental health benefits, reducing stress by ensuring that staff do not feel obliged to spend every waking hour glued to their phone or laptop.
What does the future hold for offices post-pandemic? Is the traditional office model dead?
Working habits have fundamentally changed and the office setup that was previously the norm is unlikely to return. People often enjoy working from home and save time by cutting out their daily commute, with output increasing as a result.
Giving people greater responsibility to achieve their goals is almost always a positive thing for businesses looking to expand, and doing this remotely is no different. Showing your employees that you trust them to work from home will in most cases see them repay you by going the extra mile to help the company grow. This is having a positive influence on staff turnover too, with fewer people leaving their jobs and HR saving on significant costs.
Our office will still be in use for certain meetings and training sessions once the pandemic is over, as well as providing a space for those who cannot comfortably work from home, but the hybrid model is very much the future. Companies that insist on making staff use the office on a full-time basis will be at a significant disadvantage in the job market, playing second fiddle to those who offer a flexible model of some kind. Making people sit in an office for 40 hours a week will only make your business a less desirable place to work – and hiring top talent will be more difficult as a consequence.
How is Hyperion Tech supporting iGaming companies in a post-Covid environment?
As an iGaming technology services provider, Hyperion Tech is here to support companies that are looking to build their teams with the right talent. Working with a range of clients in the iGaming, Fintech and other tech sectors, we create hybrid teams of internal and external developers that take a business’ operations to the next level.
Malta’s tech talent shortage has been well documented, but with remote working we now have a solution to this key issue. Malta-based businesses often tell us how hard they have found it to recruit and retain top talent, but now they are in a position to embrace the hybrid model and employ staff from across Europe. That is where we come in, as we take great pride in building successful teams for our clients by tapping into a huge pool of tech talent.