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Hybrid working is piling the pressure on HR teams – is cloud based HR technology the solution?

In 2019, many companies had never even considered the viability of remote working. Hybrid and flexible working weren’t rare, but they certainly weren’t commonplace either. 

Most managers and bosses felt that employees were most productive when they were in the office and as the old saying goes, “If something isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it”.

For many, experimenting with hybrid, remote or flexible working was an unnecessary risk. Company productivity was just fine, nobody wants to shake up the status quo.

That was all well and good until Covid came along. The pandemic forced remote working on a large swathe of businesses across the UK. Many of which had never managed remote workers before. 

Surprisingly, for a lot of companies, remote working proved to be a success. Or at a minimum, no productivity was lost when staff were working from home. Also, the increased freedom and autonomy staff enjoyed was something nobody wanted to give up. These reasons are why hybrid and remote working is here to stay post-pandemic. 

But, while many employees and workers are enjoying the benefits of remote working: increased productivity, no commuting times, greater control on their work-life balance; HR departments are feeling the pressure when it comes to managing, communicating and checking up with dispersed teams.    

In this article, we’ll explain why remote working is causing so much pressure for HR teams, how cloud-based HR technology can help alleviate that pressure and if you’re going through a HR system selection process, what you should look out for in a cloud-based HR tech tool.    

Why is remote working causing pressure for HR teams?

64% of HR professionals are expecting heightened work pressures as their organisations introduce more homeworking. Furthermore, 18% are saying they’re expecting the increase to be significant in coming months. 

This is because hybrid and homeworking can cause serious headaches for HR teams. Managing people in different locations is one of the biggest challenges facing HR teams dealing with a move to remote working. 

Another obstacle facing them is transitioning their businesses to one that can permanently operate remotely or in some hybrid capacity. The pandemic forced us all to work from home, but now that it’s coming to an end, companies want to make their temporary remote working arrangements permanent. 

This job falls to the HR department. 

Making sure all employees have the essential equipment at home to not only survive and be operational while working remotely but also to be truly productive and thrive. Getting people up and running quickly when everyone went remote was one thing. But creating a lasting work-from-home culture with tools to support and encourage that is something quite different.   

Add to this predictions of a ‘catastrophic’ flu season in the winter months of 2021 means HR teams will be dealing with an unprecedented amount of absenteeism in the workplace. 

All these added pressures are being stacked on top of the normal processes that the HR department needs to carry out. This is creating a highly pressurised environment for HR teams and many are turning to cloud-based HR technologies to help them manage their workloads. In the next section of this article we’ll explore how cloud-based HR tech can help HR teams overcome these hurdles.  

How can cloud-based HR technology help?

There’s several important ways cloud-based HR technology can help struggling HR departments manage their work loads more effectively. 

Absence management software can help HR teams manage staff sickness, holidays and other absences no matter where employees are working. This removes the need for HR team members and employees to be in the office together to organise annual leave. It can also remove confusing email exchanges and missed phone calls. 

Cloud-based HR technology also gives employers complete visibility over their workforce in real-time, so you always know when your staff are working, whether they’re at home or in the office, self-isolating, off sick or on holiday. This information can be seen by everyone in the company, not just HR and business leaders. 

If you’re currently going through a HRIS selection process and need a hand finding the right tool for your business you can use our HR system selection service.

This helps everyone in the business plan their own time off better, as they won’t inundate HR with annual leave requests that’ll be rejected. It also guarantees things like back-to-work interviews after illness are always carried out, as well as holiday handovers and that team members are brought back up to speed after sabbaticals and other extended leaves of absence.   

In a nutshell, cloud-based HR technology means businesses can move away from manual systems and processes. Absences and holidays can be tracked automatically and automations can help remind staff and business leaders when things like performance reviews need to be completed. 

This, in turn, frees up HR teams to do more important tasks that can help a company reduce it’s churn, increase its ROI or just save some money. 

Going through a HR system selection process? What features should you look for in a new cloud-based HR technology tool? 

When you’re in the market for a new cloud-based HR technology tool, the choice can be overwhelming. Whether you’re just about to start your HRIS selection process or you’re well under way, it can be difficult to know what features to prioritise and what you should look out for when reviewing new HR platforms.

If you’re struggling to decide on the right HR software platform for your business you can use our 4 step downloadable guide: 4 steps to choosing the right HR software: a buyer’s guide  

Below we’ve listed 5 things that we think are really important when it comes to choosing a cloud-based HR technology platform for your business. 

  • Automation – Make sure any platform you select has robust automation features. Whether that’s reminding you to check in with employees, sending out automatic reminders about performance reviews or telling team members their annual leave will expire if they don’t book holidays. Automation reduces the amount of manual management an HR team needs to do and lets you focus on other, more important projects.
  • The ability for employees to input requests – A cloud-based platform that allows employees to input data and request time off should be a must. It’s no good if all they can do is access the platform to see the information and data you’ve inputted. A cloud-based HR tech tool that allows employees to communicate with HR experts through the platform, keeps all your communications in one place and you can manage employee requests in one platform too. 
  • Unlimited user access – It’s no good having a cloud-based HR platform that only allows 5 users to access it at any one time. That sort of defeats the point of moving to the cloud in the first place. When going through your HRIS selection process, make sure any platform you review can allow for unlimited users. Or at least check how much it is per user or if you will be charged more if your company grows, for example.
  • Transparency across the business – Your cloud-based HR technology platform should provide transparency across your business. Every member of staff should be able to see when someone is ill, on holiday or taking another leave of absence. It’s no good for the HR team to hoard this information, as you’ll just be inundated with emails and calls from staff trying to get in touch with an absent member of staff.

  • Good user experience (UX) & user interface (UI) – No one in your business is going to use a software platform that’s difficult to understand or operate. Cosmetics might not feel like the most important part of the HR system selection process, but you need to find a HR system people want to use and enjoy using.  Even if you pick a cloud-based HR technology platform that does everything you want, people will be less inclined to use it if it’s difficult to understand and navigate. 

HRIS system selection left you scratching your head? Phase 3 can help.

Picking a new cloud-based HR technology for your business is a big job. There’s a lot to consider and it can be difficult to know which features are right for your business. If you’re struggling, Phase 3 can help. 

We’re a HR technology consultancy that helps clients find, onboard and manage new HR software across their business. If you’d like to hear about how we can help you in your HR technology search you can contact us here.

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