IT companies against blackouts: Trend for generators, self-sufficient hotels in the west, power stations, coworking spaces close to home. What help get employees with relocation?

IT companies against blackouts: Trend for generators, self-sufficient hotels in the west, power stations, coworking spaces close to home. What help get employees with relocation?

EPAM, SoftServe, Sigma Software, Quarks, Intellias, Ciklum, Levi9 shared their experience with Mind

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IT companies against blackouts: Trend for generators, self-sufficient hotels in the west, power stations, coworking spaces close to home. What help get employees with relocation?
Image: ІТ Ukraine

Mind asked top managers from IT companies to tell us what is already in place for them to work during blackouts and how else they plan to strengthen their teams and business protection. In their words, the main problem for all businesses localised in Ukraine remains the continuity of work and the safety of employees. The situation with outages is unlikely to be systematically resolved in the near future, so companies adapt – they equip offices, change the format of work and arrangements, help with making houses self-sufficient.

IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Kateryna Andrushko,
СМО Quarks:

We have booked several self-sufficient hotels in the West of the country in advance. And since the beginning of December, the team has already started to move there. Quarks covers the cost of accommodation for employees and helps them with the accommodation of their families and animals, looking for the best options. This is, first of all, to reduce anxiety and risks during possible bombardments or other events.

We understand that not everyone can leave for various personal reasons, so we equipped the office with two generators: the main and backup ones, which also power water and heating systems. We also provided showers with a reserve of technical water, a stock of food, medicines and the opportunity to stay overnight in case of a complete blackout. We also have a shelter in the office with drinking water, snacks, internet, first aid kit, everything you need to safely wait for the air raid to end.

We prepare for the worst and reduce the level of anxiety in the team. Temporary relocation is the best option. Despite the fact that the office will be prepared for the winter, but everyone also has free time other than work, that they want to spend with maximum comfort.

An important change is also the introduction of various evaluation systems that are adjusted to the hybrid format of work with force majeure. Managers devote the lion's share of time to working out actions in case of emergency and take into account more risky moments in the strategy. Being open with everyone is a key for the team to feel not only physical but also emotional safety island in the company.


IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Stepan Mitish,
Vice President, Head of EPAM Ukraine:

Due to the unpredictable situation with the critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine, the next phase of the Disaster Recovery Plan has been activated. This plan directly addresses the challenges related to energy supply and communications. It provides for a number of relevant steps, in particular:

  • We offered our specialists and their families to temporarily move abroad for the winter period (3-4 months). We are talking about specialists who have legal grounds to leave during martial law. The company covers the costs of relocation and accommodation in seven recommended countries.
  • At the same time, the company has the EPAM Family Resettlement programme that provides financial support for specialists and their families or individually for family members of our specialists for relocation abroad for a longer period of time. Since spring, several thousand people have already benefited from this programme.
  • We took care of strengthening the technical equipment in advance, which will help ensure the smooth operation of offices in an unstable situation with critical infrastructure. It is about power generators, Starlink, high-capacity power banks, etc. We are also preparing our offices so that they can serve as full-fledged shelters for the team in case of emergency. Thus, we have stocks of fuel for generators, water, snacks, blankets for a comfortable stay during possible power outages or long-term blackouts.
  • We rent coworking spaces with autonomous power supply in those cities and districts of cities where the company's specialists live, because we observe an increased demand for work from offices that are provided with alternative power supply. Therefore, we focus our efforts on ensuring the uninterrupted operation of offices and expanding the number of jobs.

IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Yuliya Nilga,
Chief Infrastructure Officer Sigma Software:

All Sigma Software offices are equipped with generators and Starlinks that are turned on when needed. Internet is also available in the shelters. The company purchased portable power stations at a wholesale price, everyone had the opportunity to join and purchase them for personal use.

In Kyiv, we rent places in coworking spaces that guarantee the availability of electricity and Internet in different parts of the city. So that specialists who work from home have the opportunity to come to work relatively quickly in a convenient area for them.

We support professionals who decide to move to the western regions, where the situation with energy supply is considered more stable, and help them find housing. Specialists who have the opportunity to relocate abroad also receive support.


IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Solomiya Gnativ,
Senior Financial Vice President at SoftServe, coordinator of the crisis team:

Uninterrupted operation of offices was a goal we set before the war, as we had to prepare for different scenarios of its development. Even before the russian attack on Ukraine, the company proactively moved all services hosted in Ukraine abroad or to the cloud infrastructure to protect data.

SoftServe offices are equipped with generators, and some of them are connected not only to the main networks, but also to the power supply channels of critical infrastructure. We have additional channels to support Internet and telephone communications for uninterrupted operation, we have purchased Starlink. When in October and November there were massive attacks on the energy infrastructure, most of our offices continued to work.

To understand the situation with employees, we conduct frequent Safety Check surveys on the ability to work during power outages, productivity levels, etc. We also conduct surveys in each individual call centre regarding personal HR plans of specialists in case of blackout. The surveys allow us to find out whether we can help in any other way.

The company continues to run a relocation programme: those employees who are allowed to travel abroad can move to any country where SoftServe has offices.

Planning and working through various scenarios and risks also allows the business to be ready for anything and act quickly. We have a general corporate BCP plan, which we constantly update and share with our partners. Such plans are also available at the level of each project, centre, department and team. SoftServe continues to support distributed engineering teams between different countries, this allows us to work smoothly and retain Ukrainian teams, as well as continue to offer our services in the global market.


IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Roman Gapachylo,
VP, Talent Management Intellias:

Every our office was equipped with generators, several alternative Internet providers and Starlink backup before the attacks on the country's critical infrastructure.

The Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk offices already have experience of working in a temporary shelter format. In case of urgent need, for example, lack of heating at home, our employees can temporarily stay here. The Lviv office is also equipped with a comfortable bomb shelter with electricity, Wi-Fi and UV heaters. During air raids, Lviv colleagues work from there.

The Kyiv office has increased the number of Starlink stations, expanded the number of workplaces, and rented two coworking spaces.

 We help with the purchase and cover part of the costs of specialists for the purchase of Starlink and generators. Or, if colleagues decide to move to regions with more stable electricity supply, Intellias compensates them for part of the relocation costs.

We regularly hold IntelliMorning corporate online meetings for the Ukrainian team with specialists who share life hacks that will help ensure emergency autonomy of one's house in the absence of electricity, set up Starlink at home, etc.


IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Andriy Okseniuk,
CFO Ciklum:

Our plan to support business activities includes preparation for possible power outages. If the power goes out for less than 24 hours, we advise you to stay calm and continue to work offline. In case of longer blackouts, we recommend using the office infrastructure, where colleagues will be provided with everything necessary for stable work. In extreme cases, carry out short-term or long-term relocation to cities where there is a more stable power supply.

Even before the outbreak of the war, we considered various scenarios of relocation of employees – we urged them to temporarily move to the West of Ukraine or abroad if possible. Today, this primarily concerns people who still live in the frontline areas or in small towns or villages, often dependent on one single power supply line. However, most of our colleagues have long left the high-risk regions.

For the time being, we advise our specialists to stay away from infrastructure facilities and not to neglect preparation for blackouts: keep phones and laptops charged, have a supply of drinking water and food, regularly refuel cars, etc.

Now we are helping to organize the purchase of Starlink and powerful power banks for personal use.

We prepared the office infrastructure in such a way that the outages would not take our colleagues by surprise. Our locations in major cities of Ukraine are equipped with generators and Starlinks, which allow us to continue working in normal mode. There is also access to an equipped shelter in case of air raid, stocks of drinking and technical water. We understand that the situation is difficult for everyone – so we are waiting for not only Ciklum employees, but also their loved ones and pets in the offices.

We continue to pay attention to the information and organisational support of colleagues. We try to promptly tell both about the security situation in the country and about the company's plans for the future. We believe that it is important to ensure regular and open communication, as well as to prioritise the safety and performance of employees.


IT-компанії протистоять блекаутам: «у моді» не лише генератори, а й автономні готелі на заході, зарядні станції, коворкінги поруч із домом. Як допомагають співробітникам із переїздом і до чого тут Гаага?

Oksana Susska,
Operations Manager у Levi9:

In Ukraine, we have offices in Kyiv and Lviv. They are prepared for comfortable and uninterrupted work of the team in the absence of electricity and heating. Powerful generators are installed at the locations, which we use to recharge the most important devices. In addition, they can be connected to Starlink, heating boiler, change the voltage and lighting of floors in offices, connect heaters.

We hope that long-term blackouts would be avoided. However, if we still have to resort to such measures, we will switch both locations to the so-called shelter mode. The offices are suitable for living even today: there are beds, showers, the kitchen is equipped with utensils and necessary appliances (gas stoves and cylinders for them), there is enough food, water and sanitary facilities. Colleagues can work in comfort, charge their devices and stay for a few nights, if desired or necessary.

Of course, the current power outages affect work both in the office and at home. With this in mind, Levi9 has a power resilience budget that includes compensation for the purchase of static or portable power sources or payment for the provision of these services, or we provide a charging station or petrol generator for use. There is also a one-time home-office bonus for arranging a comfortable workplace at home.

And for those who can go abroad but do not want to stay there permanently, there is a possibility of temporary stay in the Hague (Netherlands) until March 2023. The company rents a sufficient number of apartments there.

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