How HR Can Move The Workplace Forward

Hello wonderful experience designers! We hope you and your families are safe and healthy!

It’s been a crazy past two months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been in contact with a number of business and HR professionals to see how they are doing personally and professionally. Based on our conversations with those professionals and some of the work we have been doing, we wanted to give you initial thoughts as to how to move forward in the workplace, and where some opportunities may be for you professionally.

Here we go…

  • The way you interact with your employees during COVID-19 will be part of your and your competitor’s recruitment strategy in the near future. Candidates will ask how your company handled the COVID-19 pandemic and research your truthfulness. Companies which handled the pandemic with compassion and emphasized employee experience will be seen as ‘caring’ and ‘thoughtful’ employers. Those who did not will be seen as a risky employment choice given the potential for a revival of COVID-19 and the likelihood of future global illnesses.  
  • The opportunity is too big to not have a communication plan for affected and retained staff. The goal of the communications plan may change due to the environment, but keeping a truthful, consistent and honest conversation with staff will provide dividends when companies want to rehire affected staff and integrate them back into the workforce.
  • The work disruption is on a sliding scale, per individual worker. Those that already work from home routinely - compared to those that work in the office most, if not all of the time. Understand and segment your scale to target your communication (Who needs what resources? Who will need additional support in self-discipline / organization / communication? How will you engage with various segments / sub-sets of your employee base?).  
  • Digital has leveled the playing field between large and small companies because both can use tools such as Zoom or GoTo Meeting effectively. However, the degree to which these are being applied appropriately and how a company communicates with staff is crucial to ensuring a positive and productive employee experience.
  • Internal community platforms will have their day at the end of this pandemic. Those platforms that can show their value during COVID-19 (how to keep staff engaged, informed, productive) will emerge as winners because the workplace is moving towards a more remote workforce.
  • The future of your workplace will be at the intersection of what you loved about working in the office and what you loved from the experience of working at home. Additionally, the impact on productivity (revenue) and impact will drive the degree to which businesses choose to “return to normal” vs. “modify” employee operations and experience going forward.
  • What do you need to do now to be ready for the post-pandemic future of work?
    • Document your successes, processes and what did / didn’t work.
      • For example, document how you cut a check with a remote staff? How did you operate in a paperless environment? What legal / regulatory implications did this have?
    • Document the biggest needs / challenges that you have had.
      • Where is your biggest pain point in a remote environment? Was it communication? Oversight? Management and mentoring of staff? What do you believe most hurt your operations and impact as a business?
    • Document what people miss from working in the office.
      • Take time to have discussions with employees now. What is difficult about this experience for staff? For management? What do employees miss most about working from the office (this may be personal or professional).
    • Document what people love about working in a remote environment.
      • Take time to have discussions with employees now. Explore what people are enjoying about working from home – what is it that they are realizing / learning from this experience about work/life balance? What are they realizing about the importance (or lack thereof) of in-person contact? Are perceptions generally positive or negative around working from home? Why?

Take care, employee experience designers! We believe in you!


-Team 360HRE