“A permanent change to partial or full home working will inevitably pose new challenges for HR departments…”
As the world of work continues to change as lockdown restrictions ease, HR professionals expert that this seismic change in working patterns will increase their workload.
In a survey by Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing (Howden) earlier this year, more than 200 HR professionals, from a range of private, public and third sector employers, shared their thoughts on home working post-pandemic.
It revealed that almost nine in 10 organisations are looking to introduce some form of home working. 39% of those surveyed stated that they expected partial home working to be available to all workers, with a further 46% intending to introduce this for some employees only.
In addition, three percent expect to move to an entirely home-based working model after the pandemic restrictions are removed.
Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Howden, said: “A permanent change to partial or full home working will inevitably pose new challenges for employers and their HR departments to manage, and our survey demonstrates that many Human Resources professionals expect their workload to increase accordingly as a result.”
Two thirds of all the HR professionals surveyed stated that they expect there will be more work pressures due to the move to home working. Plus, 18% anticipate a significant spike in the HR workload.
In contrast, just three percent believe that this transition will reduce the overall HR workload.
Benefits must reflect shift
Herbert pointed out that employers should also reconsider their benefits offering, to better align them with the shift to home working.
This is echoed in the research as it highlighted that the move towards greater remote working should be matched with increased flexibility and reach in company-sponsored employee benefits.
As a result, more than half of respondents may need to improve (eight per cent) on this or review (44%) their current offering.
“We would strongly encourage many more employers to embrace flexible benefits and/or digital communication and delivery methods to better support the increasing numbers of remote workers in the 2020,” Herbert concluded.