HR teams still developing post-pandemic workplace strategies

Though the UK is now gradually lifting lockdown restrictions and, in some areas, encouraging staff to return to the office, 70% of organisations are still developing a post-pandemic workplace strategy, according to XpertHR.

UK companies are reportedly not ready to bring employees back to the office and are actively planning or considering permanent changes to the workplace following the events of the past 18 months. 

HR professionals responding to XpertHR's survey said work and the workplace will not be the same as they were prior to the pandemic after their strategies are put in place.

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The most influential factor when building a new strategy was employee needs (27%) followed by ensuring the workplace is COVID-19 secure (17.8%) and employee wellbeing (14.2%). 

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor at XpertHR, said the past 16 months have thrown HR professionals into uncharted waters, and this uncertainty continues as we step out of lockdown restrictions.

She told HR magazine: “HR is driving the move to new models and looking to create strategies that facilitate teamwork, collaboration and connection.

“Using lessons learned over the past year or so, HR is approaching this new world of work thoughtfully, taking steps informed by the people who will be impacted by them most.”

Murphy said cost, senior leadership preferences, nor time seems to be the strongest influence on HR’s strategy, but employees, wellbeing and engagement instead. 

She added: “With such an opportunity to shape workplaces in a way never seen before, HR professionals need to make sure they can properly understand and keep up with the changes and desires within their own organisation, and the market.

“It’s vital that HR professionals arm themselves with the right tools, data, and guides as they step forward into this new world of work beyond the pandemic.”

XpertHR conducted the survey in May 2021. Responses were received from 296 organisations, collectively employing 371,429 people.