fbpx

NEW

The future of technology: what are the leading programming languages in 2024?

The future of technology: what are the leading programming languages in 2024? The IT industry is undoubtedly an ever-evolving sector and thus trends and preferences for technologies and programming languages are constantly changing. Every year we see increased...

IT Recruitment in Poland: Effective recruiting for your company

IT Recruitment in Poland: Effective recruiting for your company ITSelecta offers outsourcing recruitment services in Poland for companies in a wide variety of industries, providing a positive experience for our clients. We work with software development organizations,...

Specialists in the IT Market in Poland: Most in-demand tech jobs in 2024

IT Market in Poland: Most in-demand tech jobs in 2024 Every year, new technological solutions appear, the operation and development of which require experienced specialists. As technology improves, new jobs are created, and others become crucial in a changing world....

JULY 2024 – HOT VACANCIES

July has arrived and with it new job offers! In July we have many new job opportunities for you! This month we are working with a variety of partners, from leading corporations to innovative startups. All of these companies are actively looking for exceptional talent...

ITSelecta: Trusted staffing agency in Poland creating positive recruitment experiences for diverse industries

ITSelecta: Trusted staffing agency in Poland creating positive recruitment experiences for diverse industries In the area of recruitment services in Poland, ITSelecta stands out as a partner, delivering satisfaction to clients in a variety of sectors. Our partnerships...

How Can You Excel in 2024? Insights into Poland’s IT Colleges and Courses

How Can You Excel in 2024? Insights into Poland’s IT Colleges and Courses The best IT higher education institutions in Poland In today's competitive labor market, competence development is extremely important. The IT industry continues to play a key role in the Polish...

The most significant IT events and tech conferences in Poland in 2024

The most significant IT events and tech conferences in Poland in 2024 The IT world continues to develop dynamically and Poland not only keeps up with global trends, but also plays an important role on the international stage. In our country, every year the calendar of...

JUNE 2024 – HOT VACANCIES

Enter June with new career opportunities! Every day opens up new opportunities, so we have prepared something special for you - new job openings for June 2024! This month we are working with a variety of partners, from leading corporations to innovative startups. All...

Crafting Success Stories in IT Recruitment – A Trusted Recruitment Agency in Poland for Your Talent Needs

Crafting success stories in IT Recruitment: How we support an Energy Monitoring Solutions Platform to build their IT team in Poland At ITSelecta Recruitment, we strongly believe that each client deserves to feel like they are in a 5-star superior hotel when working...

Trends and new regulations on remote jobs in Poland

Trends and new regulations on remote jobs in Poland   The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the way we function professionally, and as a result there have been significant changes in remote work and hybrid models. Companies around the world, including...

info@itselecta.com

IT, Ukraine and Work: the special connection with Poland 

Jun 21, 2024community, Europe, Poland, work0 comments

Flag of Ukraine

IT, Ukraine and Work: the special connection with Poland


Article written by Alessandro Lombardi 


Sometimes, a business continuity plan can save not just the company, but its employees as well. An overview of the Ukrainian situation and the exodus of workers abroad, two and a half years since the war began. We gathered the testimony of Olga Afanasyeva, responsible for the company Eleks.

Leaving one’s own country is a very important decision. Calling another place “home,” a place where we didn’t grow up and where we might arrive without knowing anyone, can be a tough and formative experience and, at the same time, a challenge to oneself.


UKRAINIAN REFUGEES IN POLAND


In 2021 there were 1.45 million Ukrainians in Poland, the country where I live, legally registered according to data from the foreigners’ office. People who had chosen to live in Poland, foreign country, and perhaps develop a career in a nation that has been a member of the European Union since 2004. An economy growing faster compared to other countries: the only country with constant growth that had almost no economic slowdowns (excluding the COVID-19 period).

The data on Ukrainian presence in Poland dramatically increased after February 24, 2022, the cursed day when Russia invaded Ukraine. According to the site statista.com, over 18 million Ukrainians crossed the Polish borders (mostly women and children), and according to European Council data, about a million stayed in Poland.


DEMOGRAPHIC IMPACT IN UKRAINE


Estimates by Ella Libanova, one of the most respected Ukrainian demographers working at the national scientific academy, suggest that the population had reduced from about 40 to 28 million, considering both those who left the country and those who lost their lives in the conflict.

But why did so many Ukrainians choose Poland? Surely, the fact that Poland borders Ukraine, is similar linguistically and in some cases culturally, were determining factors in the choice. Beyond these aspects, both Poland and Ukraine are well known for being centers of excellence in the IT sector, especially for IT outsourcing.

From the sad day of the Russian attack, I have spoken to many Ukrainians who have told me their stories. Stories that, in many cases, also concern their work.


WORKING ABROAD: A BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN THAT SAVES EMPLOYEES


Among the companies that were forced to expand their operations in Poland is the case of Eleks, a well-known IT outsourcing company employing over 2,200 employees, created by a family of engineers in the same year as the establishment of the Ukrainian state: 1991.

One of the stories that struck me the most is that of Olga Afanasyeva, who until February 2022 was responsible for the Kyiv office (written with the Ukrainian “Kyiv,” not the Russian “Kiev”: for Ukrainians, it is an important distinction to mark that they do not belong to Russia), and now also directs the Polish office in Krakow, where she lives. From the first day of the conflict, she has tried to help not only her family and friends but also her colleagues in the process of transferring to safer places abroad (like Krakow or Split, where they opened new offices) or to western Ukraine (considered less dangerous). The relocation from Kyiv involved not only people but also the mascots of the Eleks office in the Ukrainian capital: the rabbit Lola and the spider Matilda.

Additionally, utilizing project management and logistical coordination skills, Olga has also focused on finding the most diverse and necessary products: from long-life food supplies to first aid kits.

Interestingly, her company had already developed a business continuity plan which, envisioning the most tragic scenario that then occurred, encouraged employees to move to Poland or Croatia.

Working in IT recruitment, I have occasionally met Ukrainian citizens who had relocated about a month before the conflict began. Now I understand better why.


Olga Afanasyeva Head of Poland and Kyiv at Eleks. Photo credits – Kristina Parioti


Olga smiles when she recalls the solidarity received from people in various ways. Even the company’s clients, located in different parts of the world, have been very empathetic towards Eleks employees, offering their homes or those of other people in their network to host the refugees.

Moreover, in Poland, various associations contacted her on LinkedIn offering to support the company in legal consultancy or providing practical information for settling in Poland: the sense of “extended community” had led companies and individuals from various sectors to try to help—each with their own resources—those in need.


MANAGEMENT UNDER THE BOMBS


Describing an event of such strong emotional impact in a rational way is neither simple nor immediate.

Afanasyeva emphasizes the importance of work, also seen as a tool to avoid thinking, at least for a few hours, about the war and the terrible situation in which family and friends find themselves. In such a situation, even weekends, which are normally considered a time of rest and relaxation, become a moment to think about the tragic events affecting one’s homeland. The war has unpredictable and multifaceted consequences on people.

Besides working in offices, for Olga and her colleagues, work continued wherever programmers had access to a computer and an internet connection. In this sense, the lockdown was good training to then work remotely in a war zone. Olga highlights how, even with air raids overhead and enduring high levels of stress, almost everyone managed to keep working.

This was also thanks to the psychological support offered by the company: “All our employees are entitled to it, in individual or group sessions. Even we managers, who have to manage people, are working with an excellent psychotherapist originally from Dnipro (one of the areas most affected by attacks), who often comes to our offices to conduct workshops and help us manage the situation better”.


WHEN EXILE BECOMES ANOTHER HOMELAND


Unfortunately, the stay abroad that Ukrainians hoped was temporary is becoming forced. Even if the war were to end tomorrow, which, sadly, will not happen, many are convincing themselves to remain beyond Ukraine’s borders. Small changes in behavior testify to this sad realization: for instance, some of Olga’s acquaintances residing in Poland have recently signed a car insurance contract for an entire year when they used to renew it every three months.

It will be hard to return to some areas of Ukraine (like the south and the eastern border) because they have been ravaged by Russian ordnance, and some parts of the country will need to be cleared of mines.

The Russian invasion has forever, and in a terrible way, changed the lives of millions of people. Its consequences are destined to last a long time, with effects that perhaps even the work’s woven fabric cannot hope to fully mend.