Navigating the world of business has never been easy. Every single day all around the world, different companies and entrepreneurs try to outdo one another as they jostle for position within incredibly competitive market spaces. However, the 2020 calendar year has thrown a monkey wrench into the global machinery of business in the form of a worldwide pandemic. It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to reevaluate various aspects of their organizational structures, policies, and even essences.

How the Pandemic Reshaped Businesses

Every day, businesses are engaging in massive layoffs, making dramatic pivots in their business models, and reshaping their communication strategies. Pandemics have a way of wreaking havoc onto the global economy and it’s important for businesses to adapt in order to stay afloat.

So, if you thought that running a business was difficult before the pandemic struck, things have become a lot more complicated now.

Not only are business owners forced to deal with the economic stresses that have been brought about by the pandemic, but there is an added dimension of health and safety complications within the workplace to take into consideration as well. Any successful or experienced business leader will tell you that one of the major keys to building a successful business is surrounding yourself with the right people. You need the right team to help you achieve the goals that you set out for yourself. This is especially true in times of turmoil such as this. In a modern world where job security is a scarce precious commodity, it’s important for companies’ HR forces to ensure that a solid team is still in place to help bolster the company amidst the storm.

It’s unfortunate that numerous companies, even some of the biggest names in industry, have not been immune to forced retrenchment and downsizing processes. Massive layoffs are taking place left and right, especially in the Philippines where a reported 45% of workers lost their jobs during the pandemic. This is precisely why HR professionals have been scrambling to draft new policies and processes in a bid to adapt to a changing workforce dynamic. COVID-19 has not only affected the way that people live their lives on a fundamental level, it has also dramatically changed the way that companies conduct daily business – particularly, in their treatment of their employees. 

According to an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “… the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the importance of HR professionals within organizations as never before. HR practitioners no longer need to convince business leaders to consult with them on key decisions. Those leaders are now coming to them, often on a daily basis.” The article also mentioned that roughly two out of three employers have mentioned that maintaining employee morale is a challenge within companies. HR departments are now tasked with having to ensure that employees are primed and in the proper mindset to work. On top of that, they also have to stay on top of individual employee performance, productivity, health, and benefits among other things. More than ever, HR is playing a very critical role in the ecosystem of their organizations.

What the New Normal for HR Should Look Like

The whole idea of the new normal is a buzzword that gets thrown around rather liberally these days. In many ways, it’s a phenomenon that represents the human desire and willingness to adapt to a changing world. As companies continue to push forward towards a life after COVID-19, HR professionals will have to be at the forefront of that movement – continually righting the ship to make sure that everyone is aboard for the long haul. HR is one of those departments that have to wear multiple hats. These professionals are in charge of payroll systems, employee trainings, team synergy, and more. Granted, it might be tough for some HR professionals to traverse these uncharted waters. Fortunately, in this age of information, it’s a lot easier for people to share and gather ideas surrounding best practices and trusted solutions to problems.

Train/Retrain Employees for Remote Working

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Business continuity is of the utmost importance. Without a business to bank on, the values of workers, managers, and shareholders are rendered obsolete. All throughout the world, various health-driven policies and restrictions are being put in place in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic. In the Philippines, quarantine restrictions are still relatively stricter as compared to other nations. However, the rapid decline of the Philippine economy has forced the government’s hand to allow for businesses to become functional again. In spite of that, companies should still take it upon themselves to enforce adequate healthy and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of their workforce without undermining the efficiency and productivity of the business.

This is exactly where remote working comes into play. There are certain professions out there that require a physical presence in order for the jobs to be done effectively. However, thanks to technology, a substantial portion of the workforce can still stay productive even while working remotely. The practice of working remotely had already been gaining traction in various industries, particularly those that are creative in nature, even prior to the pandemic. Nowadays, more and more companies are adopting this working scheme in the name of business continuity. HR professionals should be spearheading policy research and training development on how to better optimize the practice of remote working within companies.

Conflate the Principles of Worker Productivity and Well-Being

When talking in the context of a global pandemic, it can be so easy for the discourse to be biased towards physical well-being. However, this pandemic can also take a great toll on a person’s emotional well-being as well. It’s very important for HR professionals to pay attention to both forms of well-being within their workforce moving forward. This is particularly important in a time where workplaces are becoming spatially divided. When news hits of massive layoffs, cutbacks, and pivots reach the ears of employees, it can create a very hostile and unsettling work environment. All of this can impact a worker’s productivity and can stymie business continuity a great deal. This is why companies like Starbucks are investing more money into mental health benefits for their employees despite going through declines in their sales and revenues. It’s important that companies acknowledge that non-workplace related issues in the lives of their employees can still dramatically impact their work performance.

Invest in Technology-Based Productivity Tools

Technology has paved the way for dramatic spikes in productivity and work efficiency for business in any kind of industry. This principle should still hold true even during a time of a pandemic. In fact, more companies should double down on their investment in technology-based tools to ensure that they maintain a level of productivity that aids in business continuity. A very basic example of this is investment in communication tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This is so remote working doesn’t have to be a barrier in the level of communication both within and between different departments. Another example would be the adoption of more versatile software that can further streamline the way that business processes are carried out. 

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Software tools like Payruler are in the perfect position to serve as game-changers for businesses within the new normal. One prominent feature of Payruler is the ability of employees to be more empowered in checking daily time records, viewing personal payslips, and applying for leaves or overtime. It’s also a great talent acquisition tool with features that allow HR professionals to track applicant requirements, analyze recruitment data, and merge employee categories. Making use of technology such as this is a cost-effective way of ensuring business continuity even in the state of a global pandemic. This is a comprehensive HRM system that you can maximize moving towards the future.


At this point, it’s no longer just about upward mobility anymore. Companies aren’t just clamoring to get to the top. In the wake of the pandemic, businesses are forced to take non-linear routes in the way that they pursue their goals. In this day and age, all-around adaptability is the key to finding and maintaining success. This is not even a new concept. The Darwinian philosophy of survival of the fittest is one that has been around for centuries. It’s a foundational principle of the very concept of evolution. 

Right now, the human race is experiencing a paradigm shift in all aspects of life. While no one can say for certain where the road of the new normal is going to lead to, there’s no underselling the importance of being able to adapt. This is why it’s important for HR professionals all over the world to always be innovating and reimagining the way that they work. The old ways of doing business are slowly becoming obsolete and this has made room for emerging technologies and systems to stand at the forefront. Gather as much knowledge and perspective as you can with regards to best practices. Also, utilize the tools available that are best designed to help you be more effective with how you work. Defeatists might use the pandemic as a scapegoat for their inability to adapt. Rather than having that mindset, portray a more creative approach by working around the problem with fresher ideas and groundbreaking solutions. 


work from home