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How Covid-19 will change the HR department? (by Vivian Tan)



With the current pandemic happening, many businesses are having a hard time. It is hard for them to maintain to pay all their employees, and many things have changed on how companies are running during Covid-19. Because of this virus, employees work from home and might lack the motivation to finish their tasks. Many businesses shut their doors infinitely and file for bankruptcy because it is hard to pay their employees, and there are not many businesses coming in. In the hospitality industry, the HR department must create policies and answer questions from the outbreak. It is also essential that they communicate with workers for any updates and make sure that it does not affect their daily operations. 
  

When it comes to covid-19 concerns, the HR department should communicate with the employees for any updates on the virus, such as informing employees about policies, personal hygiene, posting signs around the workplace about symptoms of the virus, and wear masks. Also, asking employees who are/feel sick to stay at home, minimize workers to work in the office and face-to-face meetings, etc. Most importantly, make a pandemic plan about how the business and workers will do while the pandemic is happening. Even though the epidemic will end soon, companies need to think long term about how employees will return to work safely. 

Changes that Will Happen in HR after the Pandemic

Many businesses and citizens worldwide are trying to get used to the new lifestyle that the outbreak brings. As the community is slowly reopening, the HR department is essential to work closely with the administrative and housekeeping department for the building's sanitation. Ensuring that the office is in a clean and safe environment for workers to work in is the most important thing. Based on the TecHR series, the author stated that “human resource teams will also have to make the right equipment installation,” meaning installing hand sanitizers and thermometers to check employees' temperature before entering their workplace. Installing such equipment to ensure each employee’s health reduces the risk of spreading the virus. 

To keep employees and guests safe, the HR department is responsible for retraining their workers about what to do at work—going over the new restrictions and policies about the business's recent changes. Ensure workers know how to properly social distancing, wear a mask correctly, and often wash their hands. These are the new habits that employees have to perform while at or off work to slow the spread. Also, the HR department is responsible for ensuring the employees' well-being, making sure that workers can perform their job correctly because Covid-19 might bring some people anxiety and stress. 

With the sudden outbreak that happened in the U.S., people needed to work from home and attend classes remotely. Many people will not get used to the new environment or have the motivation to work because there is no physical interaction with their coworkers or friends. Some people like working from home because they are comfortable and do not need to put on formal clothes, they could wear pajamas and perform their tasks. Some workers might miss the handshakes and pats on their client or manager's back because of their office success. With these said, the HR department needs to think of a way to appreciate their employees for completing their tasks.  

The HR department should think about how Covid-19 might affect their employment contract. The HR department will have to include Covid-19 related to their contracts. Besides including the company's rules, policies, and restrictions, having employees know that if they sign the contract, they agree to report any covid-19 risks and agree to get tested. With the pandemic, many businesses are considering more of the health and safety of their employees. Ensure their employees’ well-being, maintain companies’ cleanliness and make sure their workers know the virus's safety and symptoms.

Overall, the HR department holds a crucial role in maintaining the safety and working condition of businesses. The changes mentioned above might be the ones that will perform soon after the pandemic is over. However, no specific date says when it will be around; businesses need to think ahead and plan about their business’s future. Some of the workplaces have adopted the changes that I have mentioned above, such as maintaining the office's cleanliness. Some company cleans their offices every two hours. For example, when my mom works in a restaurant, they wash and sanitize their restroom every two hours even though customers cannot use their bathroom, but employees are. Asking employees to wear a mask and maintaining social distancing at work is essential to slow the spread.  

Do you know what other changes businesses are adopting? If so, what are some of their differences? Will HR continue to have some of their employees work remotely after Covid-19 ends?

About the author
 
Vivian Tan is born and raised in Mexicali, Baja California. She moved to the United States back in 2013 with her family for a better life and higher education. She can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese fluently as well as Spanish. She is currently a third-year student at Cal Poly Pomona, Collins College of Hospitality Management, with an emphasis on lodging. She has a passion for helping others and makes people feel comfortable when around her. In the near future, she is hoping to work with Hilton as a front desk agent and would like to become a front desk manager one day.
 
Work Cited

Partida, Devin. “5 Ways COVID-19 Will Change HR.” Talentculture, 1 Sept. 2020, talentculture.com/5-ways-covid-19-will-change-hr/.

Sen, Paroma. “What Will Change for HR After The Covid-19 Lockdown?” TecHR, 25 May 2020, techrseries.com/featured/what-will-change-for-hr-after-the-covid-19-lockdown/?cn-reloaded=1.

Tansey, Catherine. “How HR Should Handle Coronavirus Concerns.” Workest, 13 Mar. 2020, www.zenefits.com/workest/how-hr-should-handle-coronavirus-concerns/. 

Photo source: https://www.hrzone.com/lead/change/how-hr-groups-are-working-together-through-the-covid-19-pandemic

Comments

  1. Businesses that have remained open through the pandemic have had to adopt a multitude of changes in order to satisfy state, as well as local, COVID safety guidelines. More specifically, more and more industries, like the healthcare industry for example, are utilizing QR technology to limit the amount of shared items in a given space. This emphasis on paperless transactions can also be seen in the hospitality industry as well, and utilizes less waste, less harsh chemicals or disinfectants, and is an overall safer environment to both the employees and the public. I believe that once the world gets a better grasp of this whole COVID ordeal then many of the jobs that once required you to be present will no longer. This is due to the fact that the overhead cost for an office space is so high that many companies will have now realized that it is no longer a necessity and that many people may even prefer working from home.

    HRT 3030.01, Sterling Magana

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  2. I overall agree with your perspective on the importance of HR, especially now with the pandemic still being a factor but not as majorly as when it started. When you point out how important HR was in delegating COVID-29 updates had me really thinking how yes they were the main communicators for all employees. I think businesses will adapt to change, like partially coming into the office and sometimes working remotely. Which then answers the question of how yes HR might have some employees continue to work from home to avoid having so many people come back into work just to provide safety for all employees. - Karla Campos (HRT 3500 Section #1, Spring 2022)

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