Pandemic hits programmers’ productivity and wellbeing
Software developers are finding their productivity and wellbeing has been hit as a result of COVID-19. But employers shouldn’t make decisions, such as to promote or lay them off, based on productivity during the pandemic.
“Many developers began working from home, often at short notice and under difficult and stressful conditions, as COVID-19 swept across the world,” says Dr Sebastian Baltes, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Computer Science, who led the study together with Associate Professor Paul Ralph from Dalhousie University in Canada.
“We received 2225 responses to our survey from software professionals working in 53 countries who have been affected by the sudden and unforeseen change in work practices.
“Participants assessed their wellbeing and productivity before and while working from home.”
The study found that:
- Developers’ wellbeing and productivity are suﬀering,
- Productivity and wellbeing are closely related,
- Disaster preparedness, fear related to the pandemic and home oﬃce ergonomics all aﬀect wellbeing or productivity,
- Women, parents and people with disabilities may be disproportionately aﬀected, and
- Results varied by country: developers in the US worry more about losing their job than those in Germany where there is a robust social safety net.
The team of researchers from around the world made the survey available in 12 languages, distributed it globally, and examined the data collected between 27 March and 14 April 2020.