Coronavirus and its Effect on the HR Industry and the New Norms in the Workplace

Over the past ten years, I have been consistently talking and writing about the different forms of disruptions that we may encounter with the way we learn, work and communicate. In one of my articles, I talked about a huge increase in full-time employees working with digital assistants and virtual bots. With that being said, with this fast pace, it won’t appear to be slowing down anytime in the near future.

What I didn’t expect to happen is the fact that most people will start working from home while assisting kids with their homeschooling, and trying to figure out how to attend and set up three simultaneous Zoom sessions –  One for a work meeting, one for a child, and another for a spouse!

The Coronavirus pandemic has played a huge role in transforming the way people work. The way we learn, communicate, study, exercise and work will now be completely different from how it used to be prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Way back in 1987, VUCA has been discussed by the media. Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – this has been mentioned by the Army War College. The same thing happened a few weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak happened to cause shops, bars, restaurants, and gyms to shut down. It has also mandated approximately 88% of the population to work from home, regardless of whether they have Coronavirus symptoms or not. This has resulted in hiring freezes and a large percentage of the population claiming unemployment benefits.

But the bigger question has been raised: how will these changes affect your workplace, the way you work, collaborate with your team and your organisation as a whole? A recent survey was conducted by the Future Workplace and they asked 350 different HR leaders how the pandemic has affected their workplace. Listed below are some important pointers from Orchard House Solutions on this “new norm” that’s now taking place in these organisations, including their future plans and what they intend to change to adapt to these changes.

1. Increased Training Efforts and Higher Capital Investment in Remote Working

Companies from different parts of the globe have been affected by the COVID-19 virus, encouraging their workers to work from home. This has been considered as the new norm for workers, and it looks like it won’t be going away for quite some time. You may have heard some people say, “This is my first day working from home and homeschooling! I never realised that teaching a small child can be this exhausting!”

Based on our research, companies have had different strategies dealing with the work from home situation, but it has been found out that one of the most challenging aspects of running their business with the work from home setup includes training. Businesses need to find ways to incorporate training in their companies, making it as effective as they possibly can with the new setup.

How do these companies adapt to these changes? The answers vary; some have mentioned that they both provide manager and worker training – which includes coaching, mentoring process, and launching different kinds of resource groups for employees that are specifically targeted to their remote workers.

2. The Worker’s Well-Being is the Future

The Top 10 HR Trends that Matter in 2020 Workplace, a Forbes column, talks about how companies are too focused on the different work disruptions and workplace changes that may occur within the workplace. While these are important in making sure that the work system remains efficient, it is also crucial that companies prioritise their workers’ wellbeing.

Today, the main priority of companies should be the workers’ wellbeing. The current “always-on” lifestyle and the fast-paced digital economy both have a huge impact on the worker’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Adding the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to help with the situation, which is why it is crucial for businesses to offer as much support as they can to their valued workers.