The Covid-19 pandemic has become one of the most powerful catalysts for workplace change in our lifetime. As per the Global State of Remote Work, 40% of organisations are hybrid, allowing employees to work in the office or remotely. Working remotely, rethinking business travel, and switching in-person training to virtual are all examples of how the pandemic situation has driven workplace experimentation that might otherwise take years, if not decades, to actually happen.WFH is becoming a popular abbreviation as more firms start offering remote work. Let’s get started by learning what WFH means and why it’s vital in this era.

WFH

Working from home (WFH) refers to the concept of employees working from their home, or any other place of residence, rather than from the office. Now-a-days, there are many businesses which have a WFH policy, or remote work policy, that permits workers to work from home full-time or as needed.

A remote work policy specifies when and how workers can work from home other than the office. These policies can be in place for a short period of time or for an extended period of time. Who can work remotely, what best practises to follow, and what legal rights remote employees have, etc. are all described in remote work policies.

In this work-from-home era, HR teams, in particular, must adjust their practises to ensure that their employees and companies are set up for success. HR departments had to change their ways of working instantly after the pandemic struck.

Now that the majority of us have settled into the world of remote work, it may be time to evaluate certain functions to ensure they are appropriate for the current scenario.

  • Create a command centre for information and a lead communicator

Employees require information now more than ever. “You need someone who is focused on working with disbursed groups,” says Mari Anne Snow, CEO and founder of Sophaya, a remote work consultant, and Remote Nation, a remote work product company based in Boston. She suggests choosing someone “who can speak about and help decrease staff anxiety as well as deal with logistical concerns.”

  • Utilize the remote environment

Being a remote organisation has its benefits. You have a far larger talent pool to choose from now since there are no location restrictions. So, unless your organisation is about to return to the office, take advantage of this time to replenish your pipeline with qualified individuals.

  • More emphasis on mental health

Though physical health has always been the focus, mental health is finally receiving the attention it deserves. Organizations have realised that physical and mental health are intertwined and that both are required for a truly healthy lifestyle. Employers and employees are both looking for strategies to protect their mental health at work.HR managers and professionals should take advantage of this favourable trend to improve their employees’ mental health.

  • Be Productive

Working more than 40 hours a week doesn’t imply that they’re maximising productivity during that time. Determine which measure is most beneficial to your company or team so that priorities are apparent.

  • Flexibility in Work

Employees were also able to obtain a better understanding of the flexibility that working from home provides. Home-based jobs, as well as possibilities such as flex time, part-time work, job sharing, and so on, are all examples of flexible work. Flexible work arrangements offer additional opportunities for HR managers to attract and retain people, create a competitive marketplace, increase employee engagement, and enhance workplace diversity, and so on.

  • Make decisions based on data

Rather than making assumptions about what your employee’s desire, conduct an anonymous poll to get direct input from them. This information can assist you in deciding where to put your company’s resources. You might discover, for example, that your working parents are more anxious during the pandemic. Consider giving additional child care benefits, like compensation for in-home babysitters or online tutors, in this scenario. Use pulse surveys to evaluate the impact of these new activities and make sure they’re having the desired effect as you modify your perks.

  • The increasing value of digital technologies

The efficient application of technology will be a significant emphasis for businesses as they continue to accelerate the ongoing digital revolution across industries. The pandemic disturbed businesses, driving them to adapt to remote operations and digitise their services, allowing many companies to jump far ahead on their separate digital paths. In the future, technology will play a crucial part in managing dispersed workforces.

  • Develop a sense of trust

Ensure that your employees have faith in your leadership team to make sound judgments. Employees are particularly interested in learning how the firm is performing, where it is headed, and what these changes mean for them. Transparency is required for this.HR departments may improve their communication methods by boosting frequency, diversifying channels, and providing workers with more access to leadership.

  • Leveraging People Analytics to Solve Business Challenges

One of the most in-demand talents for HR professionals is people analytics. Solving Business Problems Using People Analytics, a Future Workplace course, and Explore the Power of People Analytics, a companion eBook, identify a variety of use cases where HR leaders are utilising data to solve organisational problems, such as identifying employees of great potential, comprehending benefit selections, and recommending how to customise learning solutions.

  • Consistently and fairly implementing policies

Keep in mind that work from home policies which have a negative or discriminatory impact on legally protected groups like women or racial minorities can put you at risk for a discrimination claim. Many states are pushing firms to enable as much work-from-home as feasible and, in some cases, reduce capacity and employee numbers.

The pandemic affected HR professionals’ approaches for providing a positive employee experience. Workplace transitions caused by COVID-19 have presented HR departments with a number of issues that were previously difficult to manage. They are, however, prepared to meet such problems in the post-pandemic environment thanks to technological advancements and inventions.

HR professionals must consider how to modify their methods, perspectives, and initiatives to line up with what employees require today as we all navigate this new world of work together.

References:

https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/jobs-and-careers/story/5-hr-trends-that-are-leading-to-evolution-of-work-culture-in-india-1799110-2021-05-05

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2021/01/14/10-hr-trends-for-the-next-normal-of-work/?sh=7015cbd35fc4

https://hrforecast.com/wfh-work-from-home-culture/

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By Somasree Roy, Textile Value Chain