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Africa’s top engineering talent company, Andela has confirmed that it has now shut down its offices and has gone fully remote. According to a response by their spokesperson, going remote has always been the company’s longer-term roadmap.

“The reason behind this decision was that we found that our physical offices at times constrained our ability to connect talent with opportunities. By going fully remote, it opens our access to talent with diverse experiences and skillsets to support our current and future customers.” Andela’s spokesperson

Andela founders: Jeremy Johnson, Iyin Aboyeji, Christina Sass, Nadayar Enegesi, Brice Nkengsa, and Ian Carnevale

After months of remote work, Andela CEO, Jeremy Johnson hinted at the company’s adoption of the remote working model in a Medium post in May.

There, he highlighted the need to go fully remote as a viable option for the future.

“We’ve now proven that we can operate fully remote by delivering excellent work to our customers over the past couple of months,” Jeremy said. “We will continue to ensure that our engineers have the infrastructure needed to operate at a world-class level.

“The US is also affected. We are closing all our physical US offices and those teams are already fully remote. Andela successfully moved to all-remote when COVID-19 resulted in lockdowns in all our operating cities.” Andela Spokesperson

Andela has three offices in the US; New York, San Francisco, and Austin, Texas. It also has six offices across Africa. These include Lagos, Kampala, Kigali, Nairobi, Cairo, and Accra.

Andela Ends Open Recruitment Program in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda

Selling off furniture and office equipment

Andela also confirmed that it is selling off all its physical assets and equipment located in its previous offices as it no longer has the need for them. These include assets in the US as well. These items include chairs, whiteboards, desks, electrical appliances, and other office equipment.

The spokesperson confirmed the company is making efforts to ensure that the process does not lead to disruption of work for its staff members worldwide. It is also not clear if physical structures such as buildings are or leases are being liquidated or recouped.Remote Working

Andela has raised $181 million in VC-backed funding since inception. Its highest fundraising came in January 2019 when it raised $100 million Series D funding, making it one of Africa’s most visible and best-funded tech companies.

Remote work in infrastructural deficiency

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Remote work is definitely the future of work and organizations around the world are quickly making the switch.

In Africa and Nigeria, the COVID-19 lockdown forced many businesses to adopt the model. But no sooner had the lockdown been lifted than they all returned back to their offices.

Several factors militate against remote work in Nigeria, chief among them are the infrastructural problems of power and the internet. This is even more so for developers and software engineers like those at Andela who would be required to spend hours doing work from home.

“So far, we have proven we can work effectively as a remote organization. We are working through all the operational challenges of moving to a remote-first model to ensure there is no disruption to the work our engineers and enterprise staff are doing. So far, we have proven we can work effectively as a remote organization.” Andela

The spokesperson also said that Andela will continue to work through any operational challenges to provide support for its over 1,000 employees who now work totally and exclusively from home.

Does shutting down offices mean shutting down talent development?

Andela was launched in 2014 with the aim of developing African software engineers. These engineers would then be contracted to jobs and organizations abroad for a fee.

The idea was to help companies plug the severe shortage of engineers with the abundance in Africa.

Andela Learning Community (ALC)

Somewhere along the line, between 2018 and 2019, the model began to shift as the company started having trouble placing its junior developers. Since Andela’s business hinges on its ability to groom and outsource junior engineers, and since the market now frowns at this level of engineers, training engineers isn’t as appealing as it was in 2014.

In conclusion, remote work is still the future of work. There is no doubt that due to infrastructural decay it will take Africa and Nigeria a while to catch on.

But if you’re already feeling like the future and you want to know how it works, find an Andela engineer. He/she has firsthand knowledge.

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