The human resource departments had a tough time due to the pandemic. Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of havoc. People were more concerned about health and safety. This pandemic has given rise to new realities like:

  • Social distancing
  • Online (virtual) work
  • Self-isolation
  • Lockdowns
  • Shutdowns
  • Quarantine
  • Shelter-in-place
  • Essential businesses

These concepts reinvent where and how to work by exploring the need to work remotely (called working at home, working virtually, telecommuting, and others. Now, it has become a dominant reality for nearly every company.

In this article, let’s understand how HR leaders manage these uncertain times and the challenges they are facing by working virtually.

Challenges and solutions of working virtually

Once they understand and know how to deal with these challenges, they can help the employees who are working from home to feel less isolated, enhance productivity, experience better connection, and their well-being. The HR leaders are facing the following four challenges with remote workers.

· Compensate for the lack of face-to-face communication

Cognitive and emotional trust usually comes from face-to-face interactions. These aspects are really tough while working at home. To compensate for this it is highly recommended to do video calls. Employees can show their personalities by setting backgrounds, or by sharing personal moments.

· Seeking the right work-life balance

Working at home reduces traditional boundaries of going to and from work, creates pressures of doing work while managing kids (especially when kids face school closings), and needs the discipline to avoid other distractions (e.g., television, internet, food, and family matters). HR leaders encourage employees to set work norms and routines (e.g., respond to calls within a certain time frame, seek a private space to work) and to prioritize work that has to be done.

· Compensating the lack of engagement

Employees want to know about their performance and also want their contributions to be recognized. HR leaders can be conscious of celebrating success in remote settings by sharing the success stories, providing personal comments to remote employees, sharing best practices, and offering credit to employees who deliver results. Positive performance conversations can also occur remotely to help employees.

By hiring remote leaders who have good experience working from home, will help employees to work with more enthusiasm, those leaders can share their experience and how they have successfully balanced their work and personal life.

· Overcome workplace isolation

Social isolation is a leading cause of mortality, and working at home often distances employees from one another. By hiring remote leaders who can promote interactions among team members with frequent contacts via email, video calls one can offer to coach and mentoring by personal “check-ins” on how the employees are doing, and encourage employees to connect more.

Essential success aspects in working at home

There are three common essential success aspects, which completely ensure that employees are receiving what they highly value from work:

· Communication

It is very important that the leaders are communicating with the employees more. This will help them to stay connected while working from home. By doing virtual meetings, conducting knowledge sharing sessions, sharing more information about the organization, and engaging in formal and informal communications.

· Culture

Culture defines a company’s brand, identity, or reputation. The leaders should follow structured modeling where the demands of customers are met without compromising on the quality of service. The leaders must monitor how the external commitments show up in internal working relationships.

· Coordination

Coordination focuses on certain tasks. By breaking down an overall project into various tasks, a remote employee can focus on a unique task, which is also a high priority. Task planning always evolves the workforce planning. One can expect better coordination when there are sub-teams who have been assigned a task to work on together to report it to another team or for a senior.


By following the right path the challenges that are faced by working from home can be converted into opportunities to enhance talent, leadership, productivity, growth as well as to meet the overall objective of an organization.