Hybrid working in 2021: adapting how HR operates

hr manager working from home
By Caroline Gammon | 15th September 2021 | 4 min read

The last year and a half have almost been a test run for many businesses to determine if working from home is feasible and successful, with over a million people expected to continue operating remotely post-pandemic.

However, the move to hybrid working has been underway for quite some time due to changing employee expectations and a rise in digital solutions

In particular, Human Resources (HR) has seen added capabilities over the last few years due to technological developments.

Although from speaking with businesses, we’ve noticed that many are still hesitant to digitise their HR function.

If you’re apprehensive about updating your HR, this is the blog for you: we’ve covered crucial considerations and addressed common concerns.

What exactly is hybrid working?

As defined by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), hybrid working is a balance in which employees split their working week between the office and their home.

Why hybrid working is impacting the future of HR

A recent report found that 40% of employers expect more than 50% of their workforce to work regularly from home after the pandemic ends.

Hybrid working is ultimately the future, and to meet the demands, HR must also have added flexibility.

By implementing modern HR software, the support you provide extends to both the office and home.

Professional benefits

For those managing HR to also capitalise on a hybrid-working model, they need software that can be accessed from home rather than stacks of paper documents in the office.

A modern HR solution digitises processes, so whether you’re working with someone in the workplace or at home, you have the freedom to manage that task from a location best suited to you.

person managing HR from home

Continuity benefits

Benefits aren’t solely tied to working flexibility – as the pandemic has highlighted, business continuity is crucial, but if you’re managing HR on paper and spreadsheets, it’s incredibly tough for someone to pick up if you’re off sick.

But with HR software, the processes are far more intuitive and customer support is always on-hand, making unplanned handovers far more successful.

Employee benefits

No matter where employees are working, with modern HR software, tasks such as locating payroll documents, changing details and submitting holiday requests can all be self-served.

person submitting holiday request from home

Addressing common concerns about digitising HR

Below we’ve addressed the most common worries around upgrading to a digital HR solution.

Q: Our HR works, so why would we need to change?

A: The advantages of digital far outweigh staying with traditional processes.

You’ll not only save an enormous amount of time by streamlining tedious admin-heavy tasks, enabling you to focus more on actual people processes – but you’re also future-proofing.

Thanks to the automation and self-service found in modern software, key HR responsibilities can continue even if the person managing them is sick or on holiday. 

Q: Is digital HR secure?

A: The risks of keeping HR on paper and spreadsheets are much greater than moving everything online; paper documents can easily fall into the wrong hands or be lost during a flood or office fire.

While with a digital solution, everything is securely stored and only accessible to those with pre-set permissions.

Q: We’ve always done HR this way: what if our people don’t like the change?

A: People expect on-demand digital services in both their personal and work lives.

If your HR isn’t keeping up with these expectations, you could be damaging your employee experience.

Take major food manufacturer, KP Snacks, as an example, before updating their HR and payroll processes, employees were frustrated with the limitations placed upon them – read the customer story here.

Q: How do we pick a new system?

A: We understand that it can seem overwhelming to pick a new system as there’s so much choice in the HR market.

That’s why we’ve created this handy buyer’s guide, providing step-by-step tips and considerations to help ease the process – download it here.

Alternatively, drop me a message on LinkedIn here if you’d like to discuss your needs with another HR professional rather than a salesperson.  

How to create a hybrid HR

For HR to operate via a hybrid model, businesses need one thing: the cloud.

When looking for a new HR solution to meet your ever-changing needs, we recommend you pick something cloud-based that’s got employee self-service and additional modules should you want to expand your offering.

How IRIS can help

If you’re looking for new HR software, why not consider IRIS? Check out our full range of solutions here.