As COVID-19 forces companies to hastily adopt remote work policies to achieve business continuity, it’s proving to be a pivotal moment for Human Resources professionals, who are being asked to rise to a whole new set of challenges.
The ongoing health crisis continues to have a major effect on nearly every industry, leaving executive teams scrambling to keep operations afloat. With many companies having to adapt quickly, it’s putting more pressure on HR departments than ever before while showing us a glimpse of what a future remote generation could look like.
A recent survey indicated that nearly two-thirds of people would be willing to work remotely on a more permanent basis, and the reality is that HR professionals need to prepare for this increase in demand for staying at home. In order to keep up with this fast-moving shift in the workplace, businesses will need to adjust to a post-pandemic workforce that is already becoming accustomed to spending more time away from the office.
How Tech Can Help HR Professionals
HR leaders need to work with internal teams to identify the right collaboration software that will help keep up the normal pace of internal communications. Shifting to digital-first learning management systems will ensure that all employees have constant access to self-education and personal development.
HR functionalities need to adapt to today’s environment, and companies must integrate tech to maintain business output, ensure safety, and keep employees happy and productive. Videoconferencing technologies like Zoom have come to the forefront as essential tech that we can’t live without. (Hiring managers better start perfecting the art of the video interview!)
Soon, companies will start to onboard other new types of technologies that will help maintain social distancing and keep employees feeling comfortable and safe.
Recruiting processes should always be built around technology to effectively vet and assess new candidates and share them with members of the team. Having the right tech can help you attract the best creative talent, build a company where people can fulfill their potential, and enable your global HR management team to work smarter, not harder.
Having a Flexible Work Environment
It’s increasingly important for HR to be not only flexible but also dedicated to providing full support to each business division across every region to help improve employee well-being, empowerment, and career development. HR should work toward creating the best-possible situations for their teams to be successful, no matter where they’re located, and create comfortable environments that lead to increased productivity.
Global business leaders must work with HR teams to develop agreeable working patterns on an individual level. This will empower team members to take ownership and invest more of themselves in their work.
Managers should look to conduct internal surveys that measure engagement, work out ways to improve current processes, and implement new technology tools. HR leaders should also consistently enrich benefits and perks which help employees feel they are truly the most important asset to the company.
There’s no secret formula to making working from home a success. It’s all about putting in the effort to create an amiable virtual/digital environment and equipping teams with cutting-edge technical equipment and advanced software that can help them be efficient and achieve a brighter perspective.
The basics of managing people are the same anywhere. All working relationships should be based on the assumption that people are fundamentally motivated to do good work. Should performance problems arise, they are usually quite obvious and can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In a home office or remote working environment, this is neither better nor worse; it’s just a little different.
It is still crucial to give employees a process and structure. Proven and already existing tools, such as those for project management, are now widely available. This ensures transparency and enables managers to monitor project progress even in distributed teams. Teams can organize their working day themselves with a high degree of personal responsibility.
HR Learnings for Future Success
While the current situation is far from ordinary, our company’s remote working process has not been affected by the pandemic. Our company’s founders come from an IT mentality, and from the very outset, TheSoul Publishing has aimed to establish working environments for people who are ready and able to work independently.
Before the pandemic, the digital content team at TheSoul Publishing was already operating at more than 80% remote around the world. We spent years honing a remote-first workplace and have already overcome many challenges that businesses are just now facing in having to adjust to this new environment. This remote work mentality is in the nature of our business and built into our DNA.
As most companies are just entering the initial phase of remote working, TheSoul Publishing is a step ahead—we are able to focus instead on improving the overall experience and increasing engagement between our physically separated team members. Our initiatives include well-being webinars, online courses and training modules, and a planned high-level series of speakers. Decisions on remote-focused activities are based on feedback garnered from our global team members.
With the business world having been fully upended by the coronavirus and the accelerated shift toward a remote working mentality, HR will be facing more pressures than ever before to maintain seamless and smooth operations. HR leaders need to evolve fast to understand the overall sentiment of their global teams and always strive for consistent communication that leads with empathy.
Aleksandra Sulimko is the Human Resources Director at TheSoul Publishing. Aleksandra oversees the HR department, bringing her strong level of expertise to help strengthen this function within day to day operations. At the same time, her team supports each business division to improve employee well-being, empowerment and development.
Sulimko joined TheSoul Publishing from Exness, an international award-winning financial brokerage company. At Exness, she implemented employee learning programs and focused on personal career development across all company levels. Prior, Sulimko held roles devoted to organizational consulting, employee career path training, and coaching at Team Training International, Japan Tobacco International (JTI), and YUKOS.