3 Emerging HR Trends Shaping Future of Work Post-Covid-19 Pandemic





Excerpts of this Article was initially posted on Harvard Business Review authored by Becky Frankiewicz and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.

We’ve seen a tectonic shift in the way we manage our resources, and the pandemic has only changed the rules for how we approach work and home, leaving many permanent recruitment consultants shocked, but not unsure. With our research, we’ve known that this is what workers have wanted.

The pandemic paved way for the age of digital geeks and a personalized workforce, with three prominent trends (and opportunities) to consider:

1. Technology Is Deepening Human Connections:

Whenever we discuss technology, we often seem to think of it as a replacement for humans, but that’s simply not true. AI, for example, works better with humans that without. Humans, backed by AI technology, tend to perform better and deliver more results.

Technology has become more human.

We aren’t just collaborating, we are also taking charge and running businesses, visiting our family members, attending weddings of friends and loved ones, and educating our children. We are also swiftly making the virtual world more humane, and building deep digital connections founded on true human connections. Technology allows us to exist “in the same space at the same time” together, while we determine the place and the pace.

2. Building Culture Outside the Building:

Excerpt: Last year, when the world could not even imagine the present state of affairs, we presented our research on What Workers Want, and a Fortune 500 CEO asked us: “How do you possibly build culture when you don’t sit together”? Our response was that culture doesn’t exist within walls; it exists within people, so you have to build culture through people, wherever they sit. We could tell he was sceptical — yet the pandemic has proven that we can and must build culture from living rooms and home offices across the country.

Our employees have always known this. This is why people may feel a culture shock when they move from one company to another. The technology is the same, but the way different companies use it is completely different. Essentially, culture is “how we do things around here.” It includes default behaviours, internal values, preferences, and decisions that make each organization unique, regardless of how often people visit the office.

Companies are starting to realise this as well. Leaders are learning to build culture from anywhere, and refrain from micromanaging. They’re getting over the politics of presentism and focusing on what their team actually contributes to the organisation, and they’re learning to do this as objectively as possible. They are also know that the future includes nurturing trust and fairness, even once the pandemic ends.

3. Work That Supports Life:

Employees fear that once things return to normal, they will lose the flexibility they’ve received. Most want to work remotely for a few days, i.e., they want a hybrid workplace between work and home which gives them better balance. Gen Z are most excited about coming back into the office (on their own terms of course). They use their workplace as a place for socialization to network and learn. Both Gen X and Boomers, the generations that are leading many companies today, prefer to keep their work and home lives separate.

Leaders need to understand that while employees may still want to come to the office ocassionally, there even might be few who want to come in every day. For jobs need to be in-person, it’s going to be important to make the hours flexible to minimize the commute, or make the shift flexible to allow parents to be part-time teachers, and even make the days flexible to enable employees to work in a way that supports life.

Further Reading:

[1] The Post-Pandemic Rules of Talent Management
[2] Telecommuting will likely continue long after the pandemic
[3] Closing the Skills Gap: Know What Workers Want
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