Work-at-home option not realistic for HR

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Work-at-home option not realistic for HR

With technology allowing a greater number of companies to include home workers, it’s not uncommon to hear the question from Human Resource candidates if they, too, could work remotely, at least part-time.

But for most businesses that hire our company, SHRS, for recruiting services, the HR role typically is not a good fit for a home-working arrangement.

Here’s why:

  • Strategic team collaboration at the workplace – not outside – is increasing at many businesses. HR is an important onsite partner in improving communication and pulling together, as well as updating, policies to keep everyone unified.
  • Employees need to trust and be familiar with their HR staff. There’s enough stress and concerns about personnel changes or medical benefits without the worry of having to track down a remote HR person. Simple or complex questions can be discussed personally with HR, not over the phone.
  • HR is a key partner in executive management planning. It usually doesn’t make good business sense to have HR away from the C-suite by letting them work from home.
  • Weekly staff meetings or critical one-on-one meetings with employees are achieved faster and easier with an open-door HR office policy. Think about the hassles of trying to schedule a call with a remote HR manager, possibly one you’ve only met a time or two.
  • Face-to-face advice, timely feedback on job goals and the essential regular job reviews that employees want and deserve simply don’t make sense in the work-at-home scenario.
  • Some employee matters can be very sensitive, perhaps about their physical or mental health or emergency situations surrounding their families. These require HR to be present and trusted to help solve or provide referrals without delay.
  • Today, company culture is a deciding factor in not only attracting the best talent but in retaining those workers. The best HR people are creating ideas that not only build culture but keep improving it, to stay ahead of competitors.
  • New studies show that younger workers, including Gen Z, nearly all adept at fast-changing text, video and social media technologies, actually prefer more in-person teamwork. Yes, companies offer spaces for employees to think, problem-solve and work on their own. But sharing and testing those ideas with their fellow workers is important. It’s HR, working in-house, that advises employees of all ages on how they can work better together.
  • Top-notch HR staff can help craft remote working policies and can advise management which jobs could make sense working from home. The numbers of remote workers are indeed growing.

Even HR managers might need a re-energizing day by working at home or handling their own family situation. That’s always a good option – but just not every day!


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