WFH: With Remote Work the New Normal, Here’s What’s Next for HR

By Brian Busch in API Industry Trends, Application Ecosystem Posted Apr 8, 2020

In only a few weeks, organizations around the globe have quickly converted to work-from-home arrangements (#WFH on social media) to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new work mode has created new HR challenges, such as keeping employees engaged and productive when face-to-face interactions aren’t possible. Many WFH aficionados have offered their expertise to the worldwide HR community; we’ve assembled a useful list of resources to help your company adapt to this “new normal” at the bottom of this blog post.

How HR Will Change in the Wake of COVID-19

Beyond immediate WFH adjustments, HR organizations already have on their radar at least two additional requirements that will likely unfold in the near future and over the coming months as life returns to a semblance of normalcy:

  1. Companies that can adjust to work-from-home will make it easier for employees to do so, with streamlined HR processes that can be easily executed from computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
  2. Companies that need to rapidly ramp up their workforces will shift hiring and onboarding processes toward mobile devices, with an eye on fast time-to-productivity for new employees.
With regard to the second point, rapid ramp-up will be emphatically important for companies with hourly workers, especially in service industries. Prior to COVID-19, service positions were already high-turnover; massive re-hiring and scheduling will be a challenge as consumers return to restaurants, bars, and other deeply affected businesses. Apps including Square, Humanity, Kronos, and Clover are already assisting their business customers with streamlined scheduling, a capability that will be absolutely critical as the economy recovers.

API Integration Is More Important Than Ever

As businesses around the world prepare to operate in a new, post-COVID-19 environment, they have a unique opportunity to reassess the employee experience—what will it look like on the other side of COVID-19? The next time there is a similar outbreak?

employees collaborating via video conferencing

Digital transformation to achieve the connected employee experience requires HR processes to be automated, which inevitably translates into integrating data from multiple systems. However, if there are existing integrations between your company’s HRIS and other systems, they are probably point-to-point connections made through application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs deliver highly structured back-and-forth data transfer, an approach that has multiple shortcomings:

  • The connections allow data to be shared between two applications, but not multiple processes.
  • The connections are brittle, and can be easily broken by even minor changes (such as updates and bug fixes) in either application.
  • The ability for applications to share data is subject to the idiosyncrasies of how they are connected.

Cloud Elements Frees Data From Silos

Instead of traditional point-to-point connectivity, Cloud Elements puts the data model at the center of application integration. This is accomplished through API integration, a technique that frees data from multiple silos and virtualizes it in aggregate. The process creates constructs called Virtual Data Resources (VDRs) that provide a standardized view of the data; individual applications’ data no longer needs to be mapped point-to-point to each new application integration.

Importantly, VDRs can be reused innumerable times. For the first time, HR data can be tapped for analysis by a wide range of other departmental systems, from finance to facilities management.

Improving the Future With HR Integration

By shifting from one-to-one API connectivity to API integration, companies can quickly spin up large, secure VDRs to easily share data between applications and fluidly execute complex processes. Consider, for example, a new, mobile-centric way to track and onboard new employees:

  • When an applicant accepts a job offer, the ATS sends an email alert to the HR hiring manager containing a link to create a new employee record in the HRIS.
  • A new hire in the HRIS system triggers a ticket in the IT support management system, notifying IT to issue a laptop, email address, and network access credentials for the employee.
  • When a new company email address is created, the employee is sent a personalized welcome message from the CEO.

Cloud Elements customers today can automate all these processes with Virtualized Data Resources that serve as a shared repository for the multiple systems involved in onboarding.

To learn more about how Cloud Elements can help your company use data virtualization to automate processes and elevate the employee experience, download our new eBook, "Hire-to-Retire: Is Your HR Lifecycle Mired in Inefficiency?"

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Still getting up to speed with the “new normal” of working from home? Check out these helpful resources from LinkedIn:

Maximizing Efficiency and Productivity of Remote Work

  1. Working Remotely – 1 hr
  2. Time Management: Working From Home – 1 hr 25 min
  3. Productivity Tips: Finding Your Productive Mindset – 59 min
  4. Executive Presence on Video Conference Calls – 34 min

Manage the Impact of Adjusting to a New Work Environment

  1. Thriving @ Work: the Connection between Well-being and Productivity – 41 min
  2. Managing Stress for Positive Change – 57 min
  3. Building Resilience – 34 min
  4. Developing Resourcefulness – 18 min

Remotely Manage and Lead Teams

  1. Leading at a Distance – 36 min
  2. Managing Virtual Teams – 56 min
  3. Leading Virtual Meetings – 32 min

Get to Know Your Remote Work Productivity Tools

  1. Learning Zoom – 45 min
  2. Learning BlueJeans – 1 hr 11 min
  3. Learning Webex – 44 min
  4. Learning Skype – 1 hr 4 min