Work-from-home impacts on software project: A global study on software development practices and stakeholder perceptions

Anh Nguyen-Duc, Dron Khanna, Giang Huong Le, Des Greer, Xiaofeng Wang, Luciana Martinez Zaina, Gerardo Matturro, Jorge Melegati, Eduardo Guerra, Petri Kettunen, Sami Hyrynsalmi, Henry Edison, Afonso Sales, Rafael Chanin, Didzis Rutitis, Kai Kristian Kemell, Abdullah Aldaeej, Tommi Mikkonen, Juan Garbajosa, Pekka Abrahamsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disruptive impact on how people work and collaborate across all global economic sectors, including software business. While remote working is not new for software engineers, forced WFH situations come with both limitations and opportunities. As the ‘new normal’ for working might be based on the current state of Work-from-home (WFH), it is useful to understand what has happened and learn from that. Objective: This study aims to gain insights into how their WFH arrangement impacts project management and software engineering. We are also interested in exploring these impacts in different contexts, such as startups and established companies. Method: We conducted a global-scale, cross-sectional survey during the spring and summer 2021. Our results are based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of 297 valid responses. Results: We characterize the profile of WFH in both spatial and temporal aspects, together with a set of common collaborative tools and coordination and control mechanisms. We revealed some areas of project management that are relatively more challenging during WFH situations, such as coordination, communication and project planning. We also revealed a mixed picture of the perceived impact of WFH on different software engineering activities. Conclusion: WFH is a situational phenomenon which can have both negative and positive impact on software teams. For practitioners, we suggest a unified approach to consider the context of WFH, collaborative tools, associated coordination and control approaches and a process that resolve those aspects that are sensitive to physical interaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSoftware - Practice and Experience
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Software: Practice and Experience published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Fields of Science

  • COVID-19
  • empirical study
  • project management
  • software engineering
  • work-from-home
  • 113 Computer and information sciences

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