HR Expertise
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How HR Functions Have Changed Due to the Pandemic

Strong engagement among professional teams tends to yield better overall results. According to a Forbes article, highly engaged teams achieve a 21% increase in profitability, for example. Also, if a company emphasizes and implements employee well-being initiatives, staff are far more likely to recommend that company to others. And the greater the empathy shown by the company towards its staff, the higher employee retention will be. 

Simply put, the more a company cares about its staff, staff are likely to feel positively about their employer.

Working from home: The big change

Remote work is the new reality for millions of workers worldwide. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a tectonic shift in workers' attitudes and priorities towards their jobs. Whereas before most employers would have preferred (imposed, almost) that all (or most, at least) of its workforce be physically present at the office, it took a pandemic to prove beyond doubt that this is a well and truly obsolete model. 

The figures are starkly clear. Out of the 92% of people currently working from home, 71% started doing so after the pandemic hit. And when polled, though 88% said that they like working from home, 45% say that they'd prefer a mixed model (onsite/remote), while 43% would like to stay fully remote for the remainder of their careers.

With this shift come new challenges, particularly from a human resources (HR) perspective. Pre-pandemic -and for many decades prior-, HR policies would have been designed around managing people at centralized locations, be it the company's HQ, or any of its branches, national or international. In other words, every location would have had an HR representative, overseen by the HR department at head office.

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Post-pandemic, the work landscape will look quite different. Staff will be scattered around the globe, working from their home, shared work space, or anywhere else with a good WiFi connection. HR departments worldwide will need to adapt and create a brand new set of policies and procedures aligned with this new paradigm. 

HR departments play a crucial role during normal times, and even more so during a pandemic. When workers were polled about how important they think HR departments are in these troubled times, 65% said that they believe HR teams have played a vital role during the era of Covid-19. And when HR teams were polled about their view, 60% said that they have seen a significant increase in both strategic and purely administrative tasks.

Thinking before creating

When designing policy sets, there is no one size fits all approach. Every organization is a world unto its own, and in a remote work environment, staff will require more attention from their HR representatives. When working remotely, job and interpersonal dynamics change. Staff who might have been working from a busy office for most, if not all, of their careers, suddenly find themselves away from this familiar place. Feelings of isolation might creep in, along with anxiety about diminishing relevance in the company, because the familiar environment, the buzz of the office, has now been replaced by the relative silence of their living room. Some people will adapt well. Others might struggle. 

But irrespective of how people feel during pandemic times, their opinions about the capital importance of HR teams remain clear. 89% of people polled believe that the role of HR teams is now more strategic than ever, while 57% see Covid-19 as the catalyst for a transformative drive in HR departments worldwide, and 54% of people say that they now have a clearer understanding about the role and value of HR staff.

Because of all these factors, HR staff needs to have a thorough understanding of the workforce before devising new policies that might have far-reaching consequences. Staff wellbeing, always a priority, becomes an even more prominent issue when everyone(staff) is not physically present or together in the office. 

How has AllSTARSIT prepared for the big change

IT is an interesting, diverse field that attracts professionals with a very varied set of skills. Remote work is already a reality for many programmers, software developers, engineers, etc. The AllSTARSIT umbrella covers a large team of people whose wellbeing is paramount, and to ensure we safeguard it, the company has taken a series of measures.

We have hired a wellbeing manager, a role whose importance and significance is now being increasingly recognized in organizations worldwide. Aligning with the corporate strategy designed by HR, our wellbeing manager is now a key asset to develop a robust health, safety, and overall wellbeing framework for all employees, both remote and onsite.

At AllSTARSIT, we care deeply about staff welfare. Working with our Wellbeing Manager, we have introduced a range of social and fun activities to keep staff engaged and ensure that both their physical and mental health remain strong. 

Gift boxes, a Learning & Development program, free brunches, sporting events, music room, massage therapy, and much more, all these activities have taken a prominent role in our corporate life during these challenging times. Staff always comes first. 

All this is part of AllSTARSIT's overall strategy to adapt to the new work paradigm. We want to make work a positive, rewarding experience, not only in the financial sense, but also ensure that we understand our employees' needs and meet & surpass those needs in the months and years to come. 

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of HR departments, and to adapt to this renewed attention, we're focusing our policies on creating a work environment tailored to remote work as a new reality for everyone.

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