June 15, 2020
Posted by Network HR
How has Covid-19 affected HR?
Charlie Garside - June 15 2020
In mid-March, COVID-19 took the UK by storm and in a few short months, the way that businesses operated was fundamentally changed. As companies struggle to deal with the new reality of remote working and changes that are happening at lightning speed, HR departments were expected to lead the way with no experience of dealing with a global pandemic in this lifetime.
The role of HR has always been rather comprehensive, ranging from recruiting to training to assembling the best employee benefits packages etc. However, now, HR managers are expected to continue their regular work while taking on all the new challenges presented by the pandemic.
Greater focus on remote working and training
When COVID-19 struck, millions of in-office workers quickly became remote workers. While the remote workforce has been growing steadily over the past few decades, this recent spike in numbers was dramatic and unexpected. People who previously worked from home knew how to do so — they had home offices, headphones, printers, and generally knew how to achieve the work-life balance in a healthy way. The office workers who became remote workers suddenly had none of those things. Moreover, both remote workers by choice and by non-choice had to contend with school closures and finding time to be full-time parents, teachers, and employees.
To meet the sudden needs of remote workers, HR departments have spearheaded the offering of remote-work training in the forms of mentoring, coaching, frequent manager check-ins, manager training, and support groups. Microsoft even produced a Guide to Working From Home During COVID-19, which was shared with its global workforce and also made available to customers in an editable format.