The corona virus pandemic is a human tragedy that has reset work trends, requiring HR leaders and managers to change their human capital management approach. Organisations all across the globe are revisiting their employment policies with the new remote work, contingency-based recruitment, and other work patterns. But, employee experience and the need to strengthen employer branding strategies cannot be overlooked. HR leaders who are proactive and effective in responding to these new patterns can help their organisations stand out in these uncertain times.

Here are some impacts of work patterns created due to the pandemic that organisations globally are observing:

1. Increase in the number of remote workers
According to a Gartner poll, 48% of employees are likely to continue working remotely, part-time if not full-time, even after the pandemic ends. Organisations will switch to more remote operations, which will require leaders to devise new employee experience strategies. The reason for this is the increasing anxiety of employees due to various stress factors such as social distancing, lack of communication, job insecurity and financial inconsistency.

2. Expansion of data collection processes
Since many organisations are shifting to more convenient remote work patterns, the use of technology to collect a greater amount of data will continue to increase. Organisations who took the Garter poll revealed that 16% of employers are using technology, frequently, to monitor nuances of the employee life cycle, such as clocking in and out, marking virtual attendances and recording productivity and performance. Moreover, technology will also enable organisations to improve employee engagement and trust, through effective virtual communication, rewards and recognition.

3. Employer safety net 
Organisations will need to expand employer roles to provide employees with the safety net they need now more than ever. Here are a few ways employers are enhancing support:

  • More sick leave
  • Adjusted operations hours
  • Financial assistance such as internet or energy bill coverage
  • Child care support
  • Free community services or memberships

These benefits will improve employees’ physical and mental health, which is currently at the forefront in terms of priorities of employers.

4. Better agility and resilience 
Gartner found that 55% of redesign seen in organisations focused on streamlining workflows, roles and supply chain. Flexible roles will allow organisations to respond flexibility to quick change. Employees will find themselves in expanded roles, whihc will increase organisations' agility and resilience.

Impact of furlough
In a Divided Together report that surveyed 1500 people, 52% said everyone in their team was furloughed. While the government decided to pay 80% of the salary during the pandemic, many private organisations thought it wise to top up employee salaries.

This created an air of uncertainty. Of the people who were furloughed, 24% said they didn’t feel as supported by their employer as they should have. There’s also rising concern about job security; 11% of employees said that they had an end date from their employer and 56% said their mental health had deteriorated due to being furloughed.

What’s the impact of this action on employees who are regularly or partially punching into work? Well, 18% were envious and said they should have been furloughed instead. There clearly is a hint of resentment from employees, which organisations still need to work on.

Redesigning organisations
Businesses that moved to remote working and recruitment realised that the shift was not as painful as anticipated. So, organisations will continue the culture of partial remote working where possible to help employees stay productive without the threat of losing their jobs looming over their heads. Many businesses have come up with new hiring strategies in a post-Covid-19 world.

Some organisations are also shifting to the 4-day working pattern. This would give employees a mental break, which again would help them be more productive.

Considering the wave of change, organisations are likely to experience more complexity. But with effective measures and decisions, businesses can jump back and take advantage of the new work patterns created by the pandemic.

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specialising in HR, responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. She began as a social media strategist with Jobsoid and now leads the digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.