HR leaders fear impact of work from home


As coronavirus continues to weigh on the HR agenda, a new study claims that, whilst 46% of HR directors see improving employee productivity and engagement as their main focus for the year, just 33% foresee such an improvement occurring.

The results, which form part of Clear Review’s second Performance Management Report, were ascertained by surveying over 200 HR professionals to discover how the industry is continuing to deal with COVID-19 alongside the latest challenges on 2021.

And whilst a perceived lack of improvement in productivity and engagement appears to be a key concern, the main issue through the eyes of HR professionals seems to be offering solutions to the issue whilst workers remain remote.

“A return to face-to-face encounters [feels] as far away as ever. We are all going to struggle with maintaining performance levels as we balance home schooling, lockdowns, quarantining, concerns for families while still doing our jobs,” noted Stuart Hearn, Founder and CEO at Clear Review.

“For businesses, that means working harder to both support and motivate staff. The survey suggests they may feel that working remotely hampers performance levels, but the fact is that we are going to be in this situation for a while longer. Employers, and their HR leaders, need to come up with ways of developing performance while maintaining productivity and engagement in a dispersed workforce.”

The report also noted the trend of shifting attitudes in the wake of the pandemic. It stated that just nine per cent of respondents acknowledged reassessing worker pay as a priority, down from 18% in 2019, when the first Performance Management Report was published.

Yet whilst HR outlook for the current year seems worrying, the report also highlighted positive changes to attitudes as a result of COVID-19.

In fact, 97% of managers and 89% employees agreed that they or their teams would benefit from regular development and coaching sessions. This is a steep improvement on the first report back in 2019, when 81% of the former and 64% of the latter believed this to be the case.

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