How COVID19 made HR critical for businesses


In today’s hybrid workplaces, management of the workplace often falls to HR managers.

As companies debate return-to-office policies amid the Omicron outbreak, a new generation of staff manages facilities in many workplaces, while C-suite employees and non-essential workers operate. from a distance. The responsibility of office management, which includes employee experience, office layout and systems access management, is increasingly declining at That is The IT and human resources departments – or is a shared responsibility between the two.

In one recent survey, conducted by Robin workspace solution provider, over 400 managers, directors, vice-presidents and executives working in HR, IT and facilities, 39% of those surveyed said that HR oversees the management of the office today. Before pandemic, the investigation found that Workplaces were managed by a combination of HR, IT and facilities groups (30%) or were split equally between facilities (23%) and IT (23%) teams.

Related: Insight into EX, culture and innovation at the top of the virtual HR tech agenda

What this means for HR managers

According to Zach Dunn, co-founder and vice president of customer experience at Robin, these numbers indicate a natural shift towards the employee experience, which historically belonged to HR, when it comes to physical workplaces. With many employees working fully or partially remotely amid rising resignation rates, HR managers are now tasked with ensuring that the workplace meets the employee’s needs beyond payroll and social advantages.

“This includes working with other groups, like IT and facilities, on the logistics of how and where employees can work, but also making sure that staff are able to be productive with the tools and the parameters in which they work, ”he says.

“Are they having trouble managing the work-life balance? Are their professional development needs met? The pandemic has taken the role of HR and amplified it to become more critical than ever for the business. “

The new landscape of workplace management presents an opportunity for HR to become a more hands-on participant in an organization’s operations and take a greater role at the leadership table, Dunn says.

Related: The 5 biggest HR tech trends coming this year.

“While some of these roles may be formalized titles of pre-existing activities, we see HR naturally grabbing titles like Director of Employee Experience and Director of the Workplace, while IT can turn to positions around workplace strategy, ”he says.

However, this new set of responsibilities could lead to human resource exhaustion, Dunn warns.

“By recognizing that things won’t be exactly the way they used to be and by emphasizing the new and disproportionate role of employee experience in managing the workplace, these teams can better meet employee needs by working together.” , not in silos, ”says Dunn. “The best way forward, as the data shows, is collaboration. “

Phil Albinus is HR Tech Editor for EDH. He has covered personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and editor for a number of titles on financial services, business technology and employee benefits. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @philalbinus.


Comments are closed.