Due to the Delta variant, the government has asked private companies to encourage employees to work from home. Here’s how that affects our industry.
As the delta variant spreads fast causing a new COVID-19 outbreak, Israeli officials have moved quickly to approve new restrictions to curb the spread. Under the new rules, the government has encouraged private companies to allow their employees to work from home. One year and a half after the beginning of the pandemic, a permanent return to the office still seems like a distant mirage.
In the United States, several large companies, including Apple and Goldman Sachs, are pushing for a return to the office. Others, instead, are still being flexible and reaching compromises to allow employees to continue working from home. In the Israeli tech scene, several companies have closed their offices once again and have fully moved back to remote work. The offices of Revuze, the company I work for, are open only three days a week.
How are these conditions affecting the industry?
Discovering talent from the North
Thanks to the flexibility of working conditions during the pandemic, a higher number of developers and other professionals located in Northern Israel have started working for Tel Aviv-based tech companies. This has allowed these companies to tap into a new, exciting pool of talent.
Living in Northern Israel is significantly cheaper than living in the central area of the country, in and around Tel Aviv; and when needed, these professionals can always drive into the city for a visit to their company’s offices.
Not all companies are keeping their talent local; some are taking advantage of the current working conditions to hire talent abroad. One popular country where companies are seeking developers is Ukraine. Overall, offshore hiring is becoming easier. One German start-up called Deel, for example, helps companies hire internationally; the company just acquired the software start-up Zeitgold.
The issue of offshore hiring creates a challenging landscape among local professionals, who find themselves competing with foreigners abroad who are often willing to work for less money.
Israeli talent moving abroad
A recent report by CTech explores the subject of the “new tech nomads who left Israel but kept their jobs.” These professionals plan to continue working for Israeli companies but are moving with their families abroad, namely to Canada, England, Spain, and Portugal.
The people interviewed in the article seized the unique opportunity offered by the work-from-home culture triggered by the pandemic. They want to move for different reasons — experiencing a different culture, learning a new language, or escaping the expensive housing market and high cost of living in Israel.
There are many new opportunities and challenges that come with more work-from-home flexibility, and it’s going to be interesting to follow these trends as we move towards another period of restrictions.