As organisations continue to grapple with the ever changing challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner explains the need for organisations to revisit their hybrid workforce strategies, the role of the corporate office, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Revising workforce strategies
First up on the list is the need to revise workforce strategies., “At some point in 2021, organisations will need to revisit the remote and hybrid work policies written during the crisis,” comments Gartner.
Next up, Gartner recognises that leaders will need to look at reducing the amount of tasks that are performed onsite, with emerging technologies playing a vital role in achieving this.
“Robotic process automation (RPA) and immersive technologies – such as virtual and augmented reality – are two categories of technology that are likely to help reduce the need for onsite work […] A 2020 Gartner survey revealed that nearly a quarter of senior finance leaders plan to increase investments in RPA as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Redefining office space
“In 2021, employees will work at home, onsite and potentially in third-party spaces,” stated Gartner, who explains that organisations will need to decide what their corporate offices can offer employees that other spaces can’t.
“Many organisations experimented with innovative employment models as a pandemic response, such as offering 80% pay for 80% of full-time hours to employees who needed more flexibility, bringing in gig workers for pilot projects or setting up formal talent sharing arrangements with other employers to make up for low talent supply,” reflects Gartner.
Going forward, organisations need to determine whether to continue using the same employment methods. Gartner states that this will be particularly important for those with a high percentage of older employees in critical roles.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
Finally at number five, Gartner identifies diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a key area for HR to address in 2021. With many organisations making new or heightened commitments for more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces in 2020, Gartner states that the demand for employers to “take a stance on current societal or cultural issues, even if those issues have nothing to do with their employer,” have become more urgent.