Whew. 2020 is finally over and what a rollercoaster it’s been.
The most challenging times tend to teach you the most important lessons in life, and this year has done that over and over again. In spite of the tough times, we’re both grateful and optimistic for whatever the future has in store for our team here at GearedApp.
Join us as we reflect on some of the year’s lows — and far more importantly — the highs.
The Challenges that Turned Everything Upside-Down
When lockdown began we initially struggled as some of our largest clients faced mass redundancies. We were left with no alternative but to send our entire team home for their safety.
As the situation worsened, we had to make some quick decisions while continuing to respond to our client’s needs as best we could. Like so many other businesses, we had to do everything online to help our team work from home.
Talking about the challenges, our Full Stack Developer, Amandine said:
“Everyone has been affected differently but the changes to working life have made me grateful to be part of an industry that hasn’t been affected as much as others have.”
Thankfully, everyone at GearedApp responded well to the change. We pulled together and the transition went as smoothly as possible.
Better yet, we even expanded our team by onboarding Oscar along with a few other new partners and freelancers completely remotely, which certainly tested our communication skills.
Speaking about his remote hiring and professional backend development experience at GearedApp, Oscar said:
“Although I’ve only been at the company during the pandemic, 2020 has taught me that no matter what you think, the world can still surprise you. I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges and continuing to learn new skills, stacks, and technologies. I’m excited about new projects and finally meeting the team at GearedApp in-person (if that ever becomes possible!)”
We’ve Made a Success of Remote Working, But We’re Missing the Face-to-Face Contact
Facu, our Mobile Developer, commented:
“Work-wise, things haven’t changed too much. Morning meetings and client communication are all done virtually, but projects are still the same and the team continues to deliver work at our usual high standards. I do really miss the random laughs and chats at work, or a quick pint after finishing a long day.”
Echoing that sentiment, our Full Stack Developer Alex said:
“2020 hasn’t caused much disruption for me in my work life (or at least not that I’ve felt). The biggest change is the lack of social interaction with my colleagues. We’re still working really well as a team, but a big part of the job is having fun together and sharing stories. I’m missing that.”
As a values-led company, people are at the heart of everything we do. One of the hardest things to deal with this year was seeing so many of the team and our clients struggle, with personal challenges, mental health, or complex business issues to solve.
We’ve tried our best to respond to every situation with empathy, transparency, and open-mindedness to make sure we’re doing our bit for each other and our clients.
Same Strategy, New Approach
Fortunately, we were able to continue delivering all of our services despite the lockdown, unlike many businesses.
After a rocky start to the summer, we worked hard to provide digital support to our clients. 2020 undoubtedly threw a curveball (or two!), but we now find ourselves in a very stable and strong position as a company. If anything, the pandemic has strengthened our mission as a Tech for Good company and really brought the team together (albeit virtually!)
While our strategy is largely the same as before, our mindset has definitely changed towards remote working and how we run the team. Talking about what has and hasn’t changed, our Web & Mobile Developer Nico commented:
“Being able to easily communicate with my peers in video calls and via Slack makes it feel like nothing has really changed from working in the office.”
We already have a very international team and remote working practices make life easier for everyone as GearedApp grows. On top of that, we’re now much more open to hiring new talented team members from further afield.
Now that we have a tried-and-tested approach to working with clients without face-to-face contact, there are so many more opportunities for us to work with companies from all over the world.
A Bright Future on the Horizon
This year was a real test for us, but we’re going into the new year more resilient and energised.
Reflecting on the past year, our Mobile Developer Aleks, said:
“My experience throughout 2020 has made me appreciate what I have in both my personal and professional life. I’m extremely grateful to be able to do what I enjoy in such times and it has definitely made me more humble. I’m looking forward to being able to travel freely, come back to Edinburgh, and build more amazing apps.”
We’ve found new ways to include people online and remote interactions have allowed us to develop very close working relationships with some of our clients. Always on the hunt to find the positive in any situation, our Marketing Assistant Sammy said:
“We saw technology advance so quickly in response to the pandemic and in ways we would never have expected. Tech for Good has brought communities together and lit up innovative minds across the world. Finding new opportunities has shown that even in tough times resilience, hard work, and asking for help will get us all through any uncertainty.”
Being open and transparent with one another led to changes in our day-to-day lives, we shared our fears, concerns, and anxieties, and everyone has grown closer as a result. Reflecting on the company’s experience over the last year, our Director Josh, leaves us with a final thought:
“2020 flexed our company culture, processes and outlook. However, we thankfully passed that test and I believe the company culture is as strong as ever. We’ve put our team first in every instance, which is it at the core of our business. I believe we’ve supported each other tremendously, both professionally and personally.”
Here at GearedApp, we’ve seen the power of team spirit in action, and we’ve been delighted to watch our team go from strength to strength in a bid to make the world a better place through Tech for Good.
From Lara, Josh, and Andrezj, we’d like to wish all our clients, old and new, a happy and healthy 2021.
Discover How GearedApp Could Help With Your Next App Build in 2021
We’re looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. Our plan is to take the learnings from 2020 to strengthen our operations and processes going forward.
We build mobile apps and we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today to find out how our team of pros can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.