What is layoff in a software company

Career & Salary

The COVID-19 pandemic hit German companies in very different ways. While six percent of the companies even rate their current economic situation as very positive, almost two fifths speak of a rather negative situation. Seven percent are even in a massive crisis, according to the result of a survey of 750 decision-makers by the market research institute Rheingold in cooperation with the personnel service provider Hays AG.

IT industry: luck in misfortune

Although the working world has been working increasingly from home since March, communicating via video conference and accelerating digitization again, the situation in the IT industry is more positive compared to other companies, but not as clear as one might expect. Even among computer specialists, almost six percent rate their business situation as very positive. But at least 28 percent speak of a deterioration and three percent of the companies are struggling to survive.

Easysoft has luck in the misfortune of the corona crisis. "We had no technical difficulties in the spring," reports Managing Director Andreas Nau, because for ten years the IT service provider's employees have been able to do their jobs where they want and are most effective. Everyone has worked from home at some point, but before Corona, 90 percent of employees came to the office. In March it was only ten percent. In the meantime it has leveled off to half. Since at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic nobody knew what to expect the company and its customers, the management had announced short-time work as a precaution. But in contrast to 47 percent of other German companies and 45 percent of IT companies, it did not make use of it.

It turned out to be a stroke of luck that the Metzingen-based company developed software for training and seminar organization as well as personnel development. It is particularly well represented in the health industry and with Corona there was suddenly a demand for a product that previously hardly a hospital or school wanted, namely the "digital classroom". Normally, according to Nau, Easysoft needs three to six months before all interfaces work, the software is set up for customer needs and the corporate identity is correct.

"We would never have been able to convey that to our customers in an emergency," says Nau, which is why the company has programmed a standard that can be implemented within a week. In this way the trainees could continue to receive instruction. This and other successes led to the best first half of the year in the company's history. Easysoft was able to record an increase of more than 40 percent compared to 2019. The fact that customers get three months of free licenses for their employees in the home office also contributed to this. Meanwhile, many are ready to pay the additional license fees for it.

More time expended in team management

According to the Hays study, 70 percent of managers complain that they spend more time looking after their team. Because there is now no physical proximity to colleagues in the home office for occasional readjustments. Nau also sees the "danger of running away", because there has been no informal exchange over the past few months while eating or exercising together.

That is why the service provider has structured regular communication a little more strongly: the teams meet on Monday mornings. At 1 p.m., the divisional managers come together virtually because they work at different locations. And finally, the management sends a so-called Monday info by email with a summary of the most important information to all employees. The on-site meetings are now taking place live again in Metzingen and Bretten. And at the end of September, all 84 employees celebrated the introduction of the completely revised software at a joint meeting.

In the Hessian town of Nidda, on the other hand, the Coveto employees were not in the home office at all. "We moved to larger premises in November so that everyone got their own office," says managing director Pia Tischer, explaining the atypical solution. So the software developer for application management was able to maintain normality despite Corona: Even if the common lunch, which is part of the company culture, has been canceled for about six months, the employees use the short distances more often to clarify something and get ahead with their tasks more quickly .

Corona - pretext for dismissal

"Short-time work was never an issue for us," says the 50-year-old HR specialist. In March and April, the company felt that most companies were busy with Corona and that sales were therefore more sluggish. "At the beginning of the lockdown, medium-sized companies were busy with short-time work, hygiene concepts and moving employees to the home office," she says. In the meantime, however, the market is much more buoyant.

According to Tischers and the recruiter Hays, many companies are using the crisis to lay off employees with whom they are not so satisfied. In the IT labor market, however, it can also be observed that higher-performing employees are looking for more suitable employers. For example IT experts who work for tour operators or airlines, an industry that, like Lufthansa, is cutting thousands of jobs and, at best, will recover in the long term. In addition, companies have sometimes painfully experienced the need for digitization, for example that cloud solutions make working from home extremely easier. (pg)