Have Ukrainian businesses ever anticipated being caught in the middle of the war zone? We bet nobody has, but what we witness now is the strongest confrontation and flexibility in times of dire calamity.
February 2022 changed the way Ukrainian people lived and worked. Since the war started, absolutely every company in the country has known what it is like to work under shelling and bombing, the devastating sounds of air raid sirens make our hearts stop and tense up, but we keep moving.
In this article, you will see how the IT industry manages to stay afloat. To cover the topic of what happened to Ukrainian businesses during the war, the Serpstat team has interviewed 998 digital specialists, as well as talked to representatives of such IT companies’: eSputnik, Stripo, Serpstat, Ardas, Depositphotos, Choice31, Inweb, Netpeak Software, YouScan and Netpeak.
How Ukrainian Businesses Rearrange Their Workflows
This is how some companies reorganise the processes under such extreme circumstances as told to TechRound:
“The eSputnik team continues to provide high-quality service to its customers. We do not work in departments now, as we used to do earlier, but concentrate on projects in teams. Everyone puts in as much time as they can. We support each other and promptly resolve work issues.”
Valeriia Shudryk, Content Marketer eSputnik
“Serpstat is the go-to platform to speed up search marketing goals achievement. We have lost significant profits from Ukrainian clients, but fortunately, some businesses are returning to ordinary workflows.
These circumstances forced us to quickly revise our plans to expand new markets. We have taken our focus to Europe and the US.
After the suspension of business activities in the Russian Federation, we faced a lot of hateful words, and our guys from the customer support service had to communicate with not very nice users. As well we launched a support program for Ukrainian clients.”
Kateryna Kabakova, CEO Serpstat
Where Are The Company’s Employees Currently Working, And Where Are The Offices Located?
One of the most important questions in the life of Ukrainians was the decision to go to safer places or stay at home. Almost half of the respondents moved to safer territories of Ukraine or abroad – 46%. 54% of respondents stay in their city.
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Many employees were compelled to leave their homes, according to other companies. Some of them moved to a different region of the country, while others moved abroad.
“100% of our employees are from Ukraine. Ever since the war broke out, half of our employees stayed in Ukraine. The majority of them are in western Ukraine and Odesa. Another half temporarily moved to such European countries as Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, France, and Spain. Unfortunately, some people are now under occupation in Kherson, we are in constant contact with them, believing that sooner or later they will be in complete safety.”
Vitalii Todorov, CCO at Inweb
“Almost all Choice31 employees are based in Ukraine. Some of them moved to other countries after February 24th: Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Turkey.”
Yevheniia Hlizer, СЕО Choice31
“The main office of YouScan in Ukraine is located in Kyiv. Most of the employees (75%) have moved to safer cities and now work in the central and western parts of the country. 25% of employees have moved to Europe.”
Galina Marchuk, СPО YouScan
“The offices of Depositphotos and VistaCreate are located in Kyiv. All this time we have been helping our employees with evacuation within the country and abroad. We have been working remotely for a long time. Our team worked from different parts of Ukraine (63%) and such countries as Cyprus, Germany, Poland, and Hungary (37%). And now most of the team is based in Ukraine.”
Anastasiia Fed-Titova, PR Manager Depositphotos
What Do Employees Do In Wartime, And How Do You Support Those Who Cannot Work Right Now?
According to UN data, over 5 million Ukrainians have been forced to leave the country. We decided to find out how our respondents work in these drastic conditions. The first thing we asked was if they managed to get back to work. 73% of respondents work full-time or part-time. 27%, unfortunately, are forced to look for a job.
Many businesses have had to adjust their major operating strategies along with relocation. Additionally, we found out how our internet marketers help protect our country and economy. 37% donate money to the Armed Forces, 20% – started volunteering. 15% – in the ranks of defenders of the Armed Forces and the Territorial Defence Force.
“The YouScan team always helps the army and refugees financially. The company itself contributed a large sum of money to the army and provided free access to its social media monitoring system to Government institutions of Ukraine, activists, and different volunteer organisations.”
Galina Marchuk, СPО at YouScan
“For sure, with the beginning of the war, the life of the company and its employees has significantly changed. Like all Ukrainians, the Serpstat team combines work and volunteering, despite air raid alerts. Some of us joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine or Territorial Defence Forces, others coordinated volunteer work and spread the truth about this terrible war as a part of Netpeak Group’s initiatives.”
Kateryna Kabakova, CEO Serpstat
A lot of us began to actively volunteer during the first days of the war. Everyone came together and began to help the army and the city. Some of our people defend Ukraine as part of various military units.
This is how Ardas contributes to supporting the country and its citizens:
- preserves employment and rewards those who defend our country;
- coordinates evacuation procedures and helps in searching for temporary housing;
- donates and provides volunteer assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Our company prefers to stay in the country and support it at this difficult time, as well as after victory.
Yana Hvozdetska, HR Director Ardas
Was The Business Ready For Such Drastic Changes?
Risk management is a strong point of every major business. Experts must come up with backup plans for a hypothetical but not far-fetched situation. Some representatives shared with us their strategies to deal with dire emergencies in advance.
“Our company had a plan in case of war. We mapped out in advance all the necessary security measures in the case of hostilities. Together with the global Vista team, we drew up an initial plan to minimise the impact of the war on VistaCreate and Depositphotos. Our first priority is the safety of every team member.”
Anastasiia Fed-Titova, PR Manager Depositphotos
“We may say that the pandemic has prepared us in advance for such an extreme situation because for 2 years most of our employees have been working remotely. The real challenge was the solution to financial and strategic issues. We do not panic, but work and concentrate on the main tasks.”
Alex Wise, CEO Netpeak Software
How Do Companies Run A Business To Keep The Country’s Economy Stable?
The war has altered the usual workflow of Ukrainian companies, but every single one of us understands that Ukrainian businesses are struggling now, so it’s important for us not only to keep working in this new reality, but also help others to stay afloat and support the economy of Ukraine.
“We fully understand that we are a global product, and we cannot let our customers down. For this reason, we have relocated many members of our team to other countries so that they could be safe and continue working. To let our clients help Ukraine, we also launched a charity fundraising project.”
Dmytro Kulaksyz, PM Stripo
This war has dealt us a major setback and has completely flipped our lives upside down. However, we are all bound together by our love for the motherland and our wish to move on and live a normal life in a peaceful country. So now we are doing our best to help our employees and clients, to help the country’s economy, and contribute to our victory. Everything will definitely change for the better!
Daria Ahieieva is an Outbound and Inbound editor in Serpstat. Daria is engaged in content collaborations with influencers, blogs and media in SEO-niche. As an experienced content creator, Daria works with all possible content formats: from interviews and case studies to analytical studies based on Serpstat data.