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COVID Pandemic: HR Leaders Scouting the ‘New Normal’ of Work
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COVID Pandemic: HR Leaders Scouting the ‘New Normal’ of Work 

The world has overcome the pandemic crisis up to some extent, but not fully. Still, there exist industries and businesses that are striving hard to keep their existence in the market. However, the new-age disruptive tech, such as AI, automation, deep learning, blockchain, among others, have helped immensely fighting the adversities of the said economic crisis.

Amid all of this, the world has changed, especially the way, businesses and commercial industries used to work. And, so is the case with the workforce, across diverse industries, and trade.

Meanwhile, hr leaders have to hold the baton and direct the staff towards a progressive future. Responsibilities in surplus came onto the shoulders of CHROs and the mid-level human resource leaders in the times of the pandemic, which is still continuing, as the epidemic continues to threaten the existence of businesses across the world.

Here, in this article, we will explore the findings of the IBM experts that have tried to unravel the future of work, and how remote work will fare in the times to come. Also, the article will explore the use of disruptive hr tech in people management.

Employee-Welfare Should Supersede Everything Else

As the pandemic moves into its ending phases (hopefully), taking care of the health & well-being of the workforce would prove to be the most critical aspect of keeping the employee engagement levels, high. Empathy and compassion for the staff will play a big role in keeping the business productivity high, throughout the ongoing crisis. Further, employee-centric measures like flexible working, and strict enforcement of safety procedures for COVID at the workplaces, would act as huge confidence-boosters for the organizational workforce.

Workplace Flexibility & The Future of Work

The immediate future of work will involve the workforce, across industries, undergoing heavy transformation. It would involve flexible work durations and part-time working options. 78% of jobs, since 2016, have been mentioning ‘workplace flexibility’ in their JDs, while 63% of millennials were seen switching jobs if they have had the luxury of working flexitime. Recently conducted study by the name ‘Statista Trend Compass’ concluded – “79% of the C-level executives in the U.S. would prefer working with freelancers to replace full-time workforce in the times to come. 

Future of the WFH(Work from Home) Policy After COVID

As per a recent study executed by getAbstract, it was found that 43% of the full-time workforce in the U.S. would like to work remotely even after the COVID crisis comes to an end. They cited reasons for the same, of which, a few comprise – no need to commute, and enhanced productivity & flexibility at work. 26% of the respondents seek more flexibility to be allowed by their employers, going forward, while 20% confirming that they have heard of their employers to offer an increased level of flexibility in work in the near future.

Work from Home

The same survey also brought forth the downsides of WFH, or ‘work from home’ policy. 27% of the surveys stated that they had felt isolated working under the WFH policy during the pandemic. Further, 20% of the respondents cited technological issues as a major challenge to working from home, while 19% felt detached from colleagues and company while working remotely. 

Skillset, HR Leaders Need to Cultivate Within Their Firms, Going Forward

Skill-planning management will be crucial for CHROs and senior hr managers as we delve into the future of work. Human resource leaders would need to identify the skills their organization will benefit from in the near future. They will have a huge responsibility onto their shoulders to cultivate such skills, and design training, learning, and development programs accordingly. 

Reskilling workforce, and reallocating employees as per their skill set and capabilities, would become a primary duty of hr professionals. Added to that, they will be required to make some tough decisions, as per the business’ welfare, and that would involve furloughing, and lay-offs.

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