The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic created the urgency for remote work in African countries with major tech and non-tech companies going remote to retain operations and keep their employees safe.
Andela, African’s top engineering talent company however decided to go fully remote, laying off 135 engineers.
In a post published by its CEO, Jeremy Johnson, he revealed that the recent economic downturn will result in attrition from its customer base and a lower than expected growth hence the need for the trim. However, there’s more to the change than cutting costs.
Andela was founded to solve the problem: “Brilliance is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not”. With over 100,000 trained through programs like the Andela Learning Community, Andela has played a major role in building human capital across the African continent. The entire company was organised around unlocking potential and enabling prospective software engineers to develop the most in-demand skills.
As the world moves away from normal, there is a need to re-think the use of physical space which is a major prerequisite of the old Andela model.
As highlighted by Jeremy,
“For instance, in 2014, our first office in Lagos, Nigeria was a critical component of developing talent, because being in person accelerates the confidence-building and networking abilities of junior engineers. Tens of thousands of engineers applied from cities outside of Lagos, but they weren’t able to get in unless they could relocate. On the other hand, Andela Egypt, which we opened in 2019, has never required engineers to come to an office. As a result of this, within the first few months, we had exceptional engineers working from multiple cities other than Cairo.
What’s the difference? In 2020, the same office approach that helped us create opportunity for brilliant minds when we first started now restricts opportunity for talented engineers who can’t (or choose not to) relocate. As such, requiring offices is now part of the problem we are working to solve.”
The future of work is remote work as the world connects globally. These recent developments will position Andela as an access point to top talents in the continent.