Covid-19 pandemic has brought upon this moment of realisation for the workplace. It has shown that perceptions of working life no longer need to follow the status quo.

New innovative ways of working, harnessing the power of automation, can relieve unnecessary workplace stress. Reducing the amount of manual tasks in HR and helping organisations prepare for future challenges is a new reality, says Sandeep Sharma, President of Workday Asia.

Addressing stressful work

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought various disruptions to the traditional workplace dynamic. Working from home means that some employees have difficulties finding the “sense of community and belonging” that an office provides, he highlights.

Managers face the additional challenge of reduced oversight, making it harder for them to meaningfully engage their team. Organisations will also need to balance their requirements with the health and safety of employees, as social distancing restrictions shift, he continues.

To overcome these challenges, organisations should explore and adopt technology to unlock new and improved ways of working for their employees. For example, intelligent automation can be used to eradicate manual processes and streamline workflows for improved efficiency, says Sharma.

To illustrate this, in the County of San Mateo, California, the local government was operating a legacy system and HR tasks involved manual tasks and many paper forms. The county decided to adopt Workday within its workplaces.

Employees were then able to conveniently access the HR system themselves, boosting self-service up to 80 per cent, they reported. They also found that business processes were automated by 80 to 90 per cent, meaning less manual tasks for employees.

Preparing for future challenges

One innovative new process is future workforce planning, where organisations model scenarios based on factors and priorities in the new normal. For instance, organisations are creating models to examine workplace efficiency, depending on which job roles are going to be located on-site.

Using pulse surveys at the same time, organisations are polling for employee sentiments and readiness on returning to the workplace.

These processes allow for better monitoring and planning of productivity, Sharma says. It also allows organisations to efficient;y adjust their facilities and capacity according to social distancing guidelines, security protocols and employee well-being.

Measuring talent through skill

As the war for talent intensifies, organisations need to think ahead to “plug in future gaps in their workforce”, he continues. Workday is helping organisations to do this by “looking at skills over pedigree or connections”, its website explained.

Workday helps organisations to focus on employee capabilities, shifting how HR traditionally manages and views workers. This mindset means “organisations can make smarter hiring decisions” as they can identify skill gaps across their workforce.

In the city of Denver, Workday systems helped to provide real-time data about business processes and talent resources. Providing digital statistics rather than manually created reports helped improve HR decision-making by the leadership, Denver authorities reported.

Workday also helps employees to develop new skills by highlighting short-term projects that align with employee goals and strengths. The system increases task visibility, allowing for employees to be cross-disciplinary and build varied experience for their career progression.

While the pandemic has brought additional stress, it is also an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. While the workplace is disrupted, it is a perfect time to consider adopting new and innovative technology to improve efficiency, productivity and well-being for employees.