4 Ways HR Will Be Affected By The Long-Lasting Effects Of Coronavirus
Businesses are currently facing a myriad of challenges during the pandemic. From contracts canceled, furloughed staff, and depleting sales. While the struggle is still upon us, many are looking to the future and the long-term effects of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Already there have been short-term changes implemented across the country, from providing PPE in workspaces that had previously not considered this, to the 2-meter social distancing. More of us are now working from home than ever, awaiting normality to return so we can commence with our normal working day.
But what changes are here to stay, even when the virus is no longer a threat? HR teams across the world are already implementing changes, previously thought to be temporary but could now become a permanent solution. Exactly how will HR change due to COVID-19 and the creative implementation of our HR teams?
1. Changes in Software
Where previously HR departments would’ve spent countless hours sifting through staff paperwork and previously relied on pen and paper are now realizing the benefits of HR software that is cloud-based.
Easing the pressure of chasing staff members to send over files or post forms, using cloud software is incredibly popular, even in the most traditional of businesses.
Demand for instant messaging software, such as Slack, and video conferencing, such as Zoom, have surged, proving to be a vital cog in how we communicate internally in 2020.
While businesses may have previously out-off investing in software such as this, the reliability on them is now there for the world to see. It is proving that more physical meetings and communication will now be removed, replaced by this instant chat & video. This will lead to reducing travel costs, likely benefits to mental well-being, and of course, reduced carbon emissions.
Even with this lockdown in full force, there have been sectors who are still moving forward with their recruitment and even taking on new staff, despite never meeting in person.
While still used previously, phone and video interviews have never been as popular as a traditional face-to-face meeting. With this out of the question for the foreseeable future and companies still needing to extend their workforce, virtual interviews are no longer reserved for the early stages of recruitment, used to screen potential candidates.
Video interviews create consistency throughout the process as it can be easy to run off track with questions. Video calls help to eliminate this and keep a clear view of how to conduct the interview. It also removes the wasted time of small talk.
A candidate who is also working full-time could struggle to take time away from their current role to attend an interview with yourself, especially if the commute is far. Employees often don’t want to make public the fact they are looking for other opportunities to their employer and you could miss out on the best bit for the role due to this.
Video and phone calls mean they can speak with you, no matter the location or work hours. This could be conducted during their lunch breaks or even evenings and weekends.
However, interviewers are needing to adapt as video interviews are more different than many may think, and for candidates who are not used to them, even the best potential employee can struggle so it’s important to know how to adapt your style.
There is however one element that cannot be replaced with video or phone interviews and that is the candidate’s own experience of your business. Meeting in your place of work can give a good feel of what your company is like, the work environment and other team members.
This can be a deciding factor for those being interviewed as to whether they think your company would be a good fit for the role they are looking for. So, if you are conducting virtual interviews, it is worth creating a true-to-life way of voicing what your office is like and the teams within it.
3. Remote Training
It’s loved by some and loathed by others but regular training is crucial for all businesses. This could be furthering current knowledge or introducing new topics or approaches to current tasks.
It may seem like remote training isn’t a possibility at the moment but there are plenty of alternatives to in-house training available. Not only will this benefit the business but it also shows how much you value your workforce by providing this training for their future development.
Even after lockdown, online training is proving a fantastic opportunity to train everyone in the business without having to pay for travel and training professionals to visit your office. We are most likely going to have social distancing in the workplace for a while so training on your premises limits the number of trainees you can have in one room.
Online training can be undertaken at any time that suits you and your staff, meaning those who are working to tight deadlines elsewhere don’t have to forgo these opportunities to meet these time limits.
Ensuring you choose a course that offers independent CPD accreditation will guarantee the high standard of the course being taken. Although you will have to pay the initial cost of these courses, it is often a one-off payment and can be completed by several staff members.
These courses can also be revisited later in the future to refresh, eliminating the need to pay for a trainer to revisit.
4. Workplace Contact
While we can’t say for certain when social distancing will be completely eradicated, we do know that it will be with us for a while.
Many businesses are now preparing the workforce and HR teams for extending working from home periods. When it is finally announced that Covid-19 is no longer a threat, large numbers of business owners are now looking to allow more working from home.
Managers have been apprehensive before to allow staff to work from home, worrying about a lack of productivity, but lockdown is proving otherwise.
We will now see a lot more flexibility throughout sectors with employees choosing to work in their homes, having been provided with the perfect opportunity to prove themselves. Some businesses are even proposing permanent remote working to alleviate the cost of renting an office.
Even before lockdown, handshakes weren’t encouraged to prevent the initial spread and some are now saying this could be the ‘death’ of the handshake.
Young businesses are always looking for ways to modernize their processes, from casual dress code to even slides installed in an office building. The handshake was already seeming archaic to some and this is the perfect opportunity to remove it from a professional setting.
While we can’t say for certain exactly what will happen soon, it is apparent that there is somewhat of a silver lining in all these. Businesses are becoming more creative and adapting to the current circumstances and many implementations may be here for good.