The culture of homeworking has been forever changed in recent months, and technology is helping to transform our professional landscape. We've been thinking about the role that HR software plays in helping SMEs ease the shift towards remote working.
Under extreme pressure and in the most unique of circumstances, companies have been forced to rapidly remodel their working practices and find practical and creative ways to enable employees to work from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it’s no surprise that people have adapted positively to a better work/life balance, despite the specific COVID challenges of juggling childcare and home schooling, employers are also seeing the benefits. Productivity does not appear to be significantly impacted — and there’s a clear potential for saving costs across the board.
As the lockdown gradually eases, SMEs are being required to make decisions that will impact their operations. While we can apply logic and reason to best guess what might happen in the short and medium term, nothing is certain right now and the science is still evolving. We know that some functions and activities will always require face-to-face interactions but, in reality, the drive towards more flexible, innovative working practices looks here to stay.
Technology continues to provide the key — and what better opportunity for business leaders to use appropriate digital solutions to transform their working landscape.
Advances in cloud computing have enabled software providers to develop a range of highly specific resources that benefit small and medium size businesses. The supplier takes on the risk and expenditure, allowing the individual company to subscribe to the features they require with minimum commitment.
Simon Bradshaw, a Senior Developer here at WorkSmarter, says that as integration with other platforms has become easier, complex on-demand computing services can now be integrated and delivered to SMEs of any size thereby eliminating their need to invest in specialist staff, hardware, infrastructure and maintenance. HR software is a great example, he explains:
“It’s scaleable and fits a wide range of industries. Taking HR processes online makes it much easier for companies to manage employees wherever they’re based and without traditional time contraints.”
Making the decision to move fully online with your HR services can seem daunting, but the first step is understanding how and why it can work for you and your employees.
The best software can be thought of as a Human Resource Information System
(HRIS) — essentially a smart database of employee information. Features range from core HR admin such as holiday planning
and absence management
, to live HR support services
and secure personnel file storage
HR processes become more streamlined, effective and economical if staff can be managed and given more autonomy, regardless of location, from one central system that syncs to all platforms and devices.
Removing physical paperwork from the equation and utilising services such as digitally-signed employment contracts
means admin is dealt with quicker and more efficiently, ensuring you can focus on the most important tasks.
If you’re a forward-thinking business looking for more than the basics, choose a reputable supplier that provides a complete suite of HR features and helps you with responsibilities such as complying with complex, ever-changing HR legislation.
Simon advises that system functionality, ease of use and reliability is the secret to a successful partnership with your software supplier — and ongoing customer support is an especially important component:
“Make sure they communicate well with you from the outset, are transparent and have a proven track record. And before you commit, look at the terms as well as cost per employee so you can select the right package and level of commitment to meet your firm’s individual requirements and budget.”