What could HR leaders expect for the rest of 2021?
The pandemic has taught us to adapt and evolve into extreme levels of remote working. We’ve been required to adjust to losing our sense of personal connection, teammates and our managers. It seemed in the space of a couple of days almost a year ago now, we were required to bring our office into our home environments as we braced ourselves for what has turned out to be for some, 12 months working from home.
Even to this day, we are still learning how to navigate the global pandemic and having to prepare ourselves for ‘normal’ life again as the world begins to open up.
Is the workplace is craving human connection?
HR professionals have been working hard to bridge the gap between management and the workforce but are remote working here to stay and is the appetite for going back into the office there?
What could we expect to see from the rest of 2021?
1| Flexi-Working and Hybrid-Working Demands from Employees
There have been conversations about how we’re slowly going to gather professionals back in an office environment and there is a big question mark as to whether it will ever be the same again.
The concept of a ‘hybrid’ way of working is becoming increasingly popular: Allowing your workers to combine their working week with part working from home and partly office-based seems to be becoming more and more appealing to those who have lived and breathed a successful year of proving it possible to work from home effectively.
Those businesses that are rigid in their approach to a full return to the office are certainly going to suffer post-pandemic.
The trend seems to be that job seekers are looking for more flexible ways of working and the best talent out there won’t enter into negotiations: They simply will find an employer that is more flexible.
Tech giant Microsoft will allow their employees to work from home for over 50% of their week, post-pandemic and they are not the only ones.
2| Adapting to Employee Motivation and Anxiety
Ensuring employees remain engaged and motivated to deliver their best work will be key. HR professionals need to be aware that stress, anxiety and depression levels soar throughout the global pandemic. As much as 57% of respondents in a study found they had symptoms of anxiety, and 64% reported they had symptoms of depression.
Employee recognition has steps to combat the rise in issues, there are many excellent resources available for any business to implement into their own culture.
This is crucial as 64% of employees feel that recognition and appreciation are more important while working remotely.
3| The Rise of Empathetic Management & Inclusive Cultures
Similarly to the point above, the pandemic has presented opportunities to remind leaders to be empathetic, honest and prepared to listen.
HR professionals and business leaders play a key role in helping leaders foster a healthy and inclusive culture that awards and recognises an employee for their hard work.
Also, now more than ever before we are reminded, we all play a role in creating a transparent, inclusive and psychologically safe workplace that resembles trust and a sense of belonging.
Empathy and emotional intelligence are going to need to be a key part of any employers tool-kit for the rest of 2021, 2022 and beyond.