The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the greatest accelerators of workplace change in a lifetime. Under emergency measures, office-based workforces around the world transitioned to working remotely from home. Change that without the pandemic would have taken years, if not decades, took place in a matter of weeks.
Despite the pre-covid concerns of some organisations around the risks of flexible working, the shift in working arrangements appears to have been largely successful. A survey from US based Enterprise Technology Research showed that productivity increased during enforced work from home orders to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
This does not mean the last year has not been without challenge. Working from home during a pandemic is a very different experience. Isolation, lack of childcare, illness and bereavement were just some of the difficulties experienced by people around the world.
Despite increases in productivity, more employees than ever are feeling stressed and close to burn out. Research by Oracle showed over 90% of employees are feeling stressed and over 70% feel the pandemic has adversely impacted their mental health.
This period of accelerated change has highlighted the importance of HR departments. Employers are likely to lean on HR expertise to help employees adjust to the new work environment. As we approach the mid-point of 2021, we wanted to highlight some of the HR trends in 2021: