Business continuity in war time: Is it even possible?

Ravit Sadeh, Senior Director of Product Management at Israel-based CTERA

Comment War isn’t a snapshot in time. It’s a relentless storm that tests every part of a person, every part of a company. Weeks, months, sometimes years of uncertainty make “war-life balance” a whole new battleground. This article explores how Israeli tech companies like CTERA keep functioning through it all, focusing on the deeply personal impact on those facing this struggle every day. We’ll examine the mix of professional duty and the raw reality of conflict, how traditional roles shift in times of war, and how women and men adapt to new challenges. This isn’t about politics or picking sides – it’s about understanding the human toll and the incredible strength that keeps things moving.

The reality of a ‘war-life balance’

When war crashes into your world, everything you know about normal life gets thrown out the window. It’s not just about work anymore, it’s about staying safe and keeping your loved ones safe too. You switch between being an employee, a parent, and a worried citizen, all on high alert.

Ravit Sadeh

The morning starts the same, but it’s not. The news – it punches you in the gut. So many lives lost, families ripped apart, and the haunting worry about those still missing. Coffee – a bitter comfort, a small luxury in a world turned upside down. You’re lucky you have it, lucky you have a roof over your head.

Rousing the kids feels different. It’s your job to get them to their virtual classroom, to keep them safe, yet every school day feels like a risk now. Three people crammed in the house, each with their own battles. Kids focused on school, you focused on work, but it’s all a tense juggling act.

Then the alarm. That is a sound you’ll never get used to. Rushing to the shelter with fear tight in your throat. The neighbor, his face etched with worry – his daughter, a soldier, no word for 30 endless days. Back home, and you can’t focus. Not right away. You stare at the fridge, the same one you’ve opened a hundred times. More food? For what? What kind of days lie ahead?

Work grinds on, the kids finish their tasks, but you keep them inside. No playing out today. You try to explain what they saw on the news, those terrible images they shouldn’t have seen. A knock at the door. It’s the neighbors. One of those fallen soldiers is from this very street. We go to the family with flags in hand. A silent procession of grief.

Back home, work again. Another day ends, exhausting and filled with a dread you can’t shake. And amid it all, there’s also a pang of guilt: I’m privileged. This is my day, and so many have it far worse.

Navigating work under wartime conditions

Things are tough in Israel right now. We’re in the middle of a conflict, and it’s affecting everyone. Individuals from all teams. These days they are not only employees but also participants in the conflict, men and women serving together on the front lines. The absence of these individuals is palpably felt across the organization, yet it fuels a collective resolve to support them and their families and ensure the company’s strength and continuous delivery. Now, more than ever, the real job extends beyond daily tasks to keeping the company stable and ensuring unwavering service to customers and partners. “Business as usual” transcends being merely a phrase – it encapsulates our core mission during these trying times.

Management plays a critical role, motivating teams to persevere in their work amid the chaos. This involves a meticulous balance of understanding each team member’s location and safety, offering flexibility in work hours amid the constraints, yet still maintaining high expectations. The essence of our work has shifted – we’re not just focusing on tasks but ensuring there’s a stable environment to return to, contributing to the stability of the Israeli economy. The concept of solidarity has never been more relevant or deeply felt.

As a community, we’ve adapted to the circumstances with resilience and innovation. Remote work has become the norm, with office days being carefully considered. We recognize the paradox of continuing work and delivery when hearts and minds are elsewhere. Initiatives like fundraising for families affected by the war, organizing social activities to support soldiers, and providing personal equipment for those on the battlefield exemplify our commitment to going beyond our professional duties. These actions not only boost morale but also reinforce the importance of each employee’s contribution, motivating them to be a part of a global effort that might seem disconnected from the immediate crisis.

Our commitment extends to our customers and partners as well. We’ve adapted by pre-recording training and demonstrations to avoid interruptions from alarms and reorganizing support teams across Israel and globally to ensure 24/7 availability. Our engineering team has worked tirelessly, continuing to release versions and major features, demonstrating our dedication to innovation and service despite the circumstances.

In ensuring that employees have the support they need, we embody the principle of “business as usual” in the truest sense. It’s a stance we adopt with pride, not as a cliché but as a testament to our resilience and solidarity. Through these efforts, we not only sustain our operations but also contribute to a sense of normalcy and stability during tumultuous times, proving that our work, our contributions, indeed matter.

140 days of war – are we business as usual?

It’s been 140 days since the war began. The daily toll is heavy, with countless lives lost, a grim reminder of the war’s brutality. Somehow, we’ve found a way to get used to the stream of bad news, bracing ourselves for a conflict with no end in sight. Many of us have returned to work, and schools have reopened their doors to students, trying to find a semblance of normality amid chaos. Yet the constant updates of tragedy weigh heavily on us, a stark reality that routine cannot erase. Despite this, there’s a palpable sense of unity and strength among us, a shared resolve that we’ll emerge from this stronger. This sentiment of solidarity keeps us going. “We’ll get through this; we’ll be better,” I reassure my kids and myself.