What We’ve Learned From The Pandemic

By RealHR Solutions

It’s not news that the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adapt and pivot their operations in order to survive. RealHR checked in with several clients to assess how they managed their business objectives during this crisis, and what changes they expect for 2021. Here are our takeaways from those discussions, embedded with our HR expertise and perspective.

1. Remote Work Is A New Reality

Many businesses embraced a working model they previously resisted: remote working, and they now know that some form of remote working is here to stay.

Grateful that proper technologies make remote work more than just a possibility, but a reality, businesses recognized the advantages of remote working tools that made it possible for their teams to work collaboratively, increase productivity, and have more day-to-day flexibility.

A surprise benefit to some businesses was the ability to recruit for open positions from a larger talent pool spread over a wider geographic area. The result has been an engagement in more inclusive recruitment practices and a more diverse slate of candidates.

2. Employee Health, Safety, And Well-being Are Key 

Before the pandemic, 9 out of 10 professionals admitted to coming into the office when experiencing cold or flu symptoms. Over half of these employees (54%) shared that they went into the office because they had too much work to complete, while another 40% of study participants admitted to not wanting to use their sick time. Given the silent spread of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic, sick employees physically coming in to work was incredibly dangerous.

Organizations are acknowledging the importance of prioritizing employee health and safety, even at the expense of meeting their objectives. Leaders who encouraged their workers to stay home when ill, found that attendance is not synonymous with work ethic and company dedication.

In addition to physical wellness, companies are now concentrating on their employees’ social interaction with colleagues to foster collaborative work environments and support their social well-being by hosting social video conferencing meetups, virtual coffee chats, interactive competitions, and instant messaging.

3. A Crisis Or Emergency Plan Is Crucial

The pandemic highlighted the need for organizations to develop and mobilize emergency plans quickly, not just for COVID-19, but for any crisis that might beset their organization.

RealHR encourages you to know how to secure the safety of your workers and your organization’s premises during a crisis; to improve your company-wide communication plans with employees and the public, and to test them in advance of a crisis.

4. Successful Organizations Adapt

If this year provided you a learning opportunity to rethink your business, and to adapt quickly to keep your business on track, you’re in good company. Shifting quickly, inspiring innovation, encouraging ideas from your workers, and emboldening risk-taking, may have provided you with some of your best crisis solutions!

5. Compassionate Leaders Are Essential in Times of Crisis

Compassion is defined as recognizing the suffering of others and then taking action to help. Who better to do that than organization leaders who can champion company-wide transformation? Compassion enables all of us to be flexible, to see different points of view, and to make decisions beyond our own lived experience. If you lead an organization–be there, be fully present–and demand that your management team follow your lead in being visible and available during uncertainty and in times of crisis.


The pandemic’s disruption to the global economy devastated businesses and the lives of millions of workers. We hold hope that global markets and businesses will rebound. We salute the workers and companies that made it through this past year, and wish a better year ahead to those that are struggling still.

We invite you to reach out to RealHR to discuss the ways we can support you and your business to overcome the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19.