What HR professionals need to navigate the new office normal

THE HR AGENDA: As office workers find their way back to their cubicles and begin to embrace the new workplace normal, companies in Southeast Asia are formulating engagement and comeback strategies that will aid productivity.

Mayank Parekh, CEO of Singapore’s Institute for HR Professionals, emphasised the importance of reconnecting with peers, teams, and going back to the office to restore the lost years of face-to-face interaction.

Although deemed a hard topic to discuss with team members who have gotten used to working from home, he encouraged HR professionals to start bringing this up and engage them; while being sensitive, empathic and appealing to the sense of unity and teamwork to arrive at a good balance.

Speaking on Chief of Staff Asia's The HR Agenda, Parekh noted that one of the priorities in returning to the office was for HR leaders to manage employee engagement and retention. He suggested companies provide as much flexibility as possible, as this will enable them to retain talents.

Increasingly becoming important were the company’s purpose and culture, as employees are now looking at the cultural fit when choosing their employer, much more than the pay and benefits.

Lastly, Parekh underscored the role of increased technology usage in terms of productivity during the pandemic, believing that this would be a continuing trend. “The workforce of the future is very much digitised,” he noted.

See all of Parekh's points of view in the full episode of The HR Agenda, available via this YouTube link, or watch the discussion on returning to the office in the video below.

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