COVID-19 Effect: Rippling Changes in the World of HR

COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, leaving millions of people unemployed and thousands of businesses struggling to stay afloat in its wake. Many businesses were forced to shut down as the pandemic went on, especially small businesses who bore the brunt of the impact. There were a few survivors though, and the HR teams of organizations that did manage to survive are now finding themselves busier than ever.

Recently, we stumbled upon a very interesting article on Bizwomen by Ellen Sherberg. Centered around Katie Burke (the Chief People Officer at Hubspot), this article discussed her views on how to manage a calendar chock-full of tasks. She explains her approach to reopening the company’s global offices, internal communications, travel policies, and other employee-related issues she’s faced during these tough times. Katie also talks about Buddhist teachings, and how for each bad incident there are two “arrows”. The first (“event”) arrow is out of your control, causing you unavoidable pain (like the COVID-19 pandemic). The second (“suffering”) arrow is actually under your control and determines how you react to the pain. As the article goes on, she underlines how she’s focused on avoiding the second arrow amid the COVID-19 crisis.1

Chances are, you probably want to avoid the second arrow too, so let’s take a look at how to do that!

Despite many technological advances, many businesses still rely on spreadsheets and other paper-based processes for their human resources management. Processes such as employee onboarding, payroll, time tracking, benefits administration, and a plethora of additional tasks are extremely time-consuming, especially when done by hand. Truthfully, any toll on productivity is intimidating in these grim times, so businesses are scrambling to find more efficient solutions to their troubles. 

As we continue to shelter-in-place and have largely switched to a remote working environment, paper-based tasks and other labor-intensive processes have emerged as the biggest roadblock facing many businesses today. Sadly, many HR workers are finding the tasks difficult to manage, ultimately losing their drive and productivity. This leaves companies at a disadvantage, struggling to find both short and long-term solutions to their HR issues.

It’s Time to Swap to Cloud-based HR technology and Automated Workflows

If you haven’t already, the time is right to start using a cloud-based workforce management platform. Unlike a paper-based operation, an online environment can streamline your whole HR function including HR administrative tasks, benefits, payroll, and workers’ compensation. Here are the advantages of a paper-free workforce.

1. No More Errors

How old would you guess spreadsheets are? If you guessed 10 (or even 20) years old, you’re wrong – spreadsheets are now 40 years! It’s time to face the facts: spreadsheets are outdated and broken. Almost 90% of spreadsheets contain significant errors, and even the most thoughtfully developed, tried, and tested spreadsheets contain at least 1% of errors throughout the formula cells. This may not seem like much, but these errors actually end up costing U.S. companies billions of dollars!

Unfortunately, a single error can render an entire spreadsheet inaccurate. Hours of assessing and reassessing the same spreadsheet are required to find and fix these errors, wasting both time and resources better spent on other tasks. Furthermore, spreadsheets need to be physically delivered and shared, posing a potential security risk. Spreadsheets also can’t store a lot of data, which leaves the HR department with hundreds of spreadsheets to misplace or lose by accident.

2. Improved Time Management

Relying on spreadsheets and other paper-based processes takes a lot of time. Tasks like creating customized employee onboarding documents or monitoring COVID-19 paid leave are a nightmare, and the problem worsens if your organization is a growing one. Fortunately, switching to a cloud-based, self-serve people operations platform (like UZIO) allows you to save a lot of time. Time previously spent on paper-based tasks can now be focused on strategic initiatives and business goals rather than wasted on repetitive paper-based tasks. An added bonus? It improves the employee experience as well!

3. Better Communication

Most HR departments are scattered all over the place. Adding spreadsheets to the mix only worsens this lack of organization, especially since these paper files can easily be lost. As business grows and teams expand, the HR department and all of its responsibilities grow as well. Unfortunately, this will increase their dependency on spreadsheets, leading to what is affectionately known as “Spreadsheet Dependency Syndrome”. Unlike a paper operation, cloud-based HR solutions keep everyone on the same page, allowing you to notify stakeholders immediately of any last-minute changes. This prevents employees from wasting valuable time seeking approval or needing to contact other departments.

4. Compliance Is Easier

Many businesses (both big and small) struggle to adhere to the constantly changing state and federal labor laws. These laws cover things like paid leave, time tracking, offboarding and more, and failing to comply may leave your company with heavy fines. HR technology like UZIO keeps track of the new compliance regulations, allowing you to easily update information while automating your workflow.

5. Streamline Onboarding & Offboarding

Employee onboarding is one of the biggest challenges routinely faced by HR teams. A cloud-based HR platform standardizes the onboarding process, streamlining employee onboarding by replacing the usual paper forms. Rather than wasting an entire day filling out paperwork, the new employees can simply enter their information into one platform and be done. The other challenge often faced by HR teams is offboarding employees. An HRIS (Human Resources Information System) simplifies the process, providing HR teams with the relevant terminations policies and procedures throughout the offboarding.

6. Your Business Can Grow Freely

If you’re trying to rapidly expand your business, then spreadsheets are sure to hold you back. Since spreadsheets are created manually by individuals, they may be hard for the next employee to interpret. By using a standardized cloud-based platform, information will be easy to understand, allowing the next employee to easily pick up from where the last employee left off.

The Future Won’t Wait, So Neither Should You

No matter how great your business is already running, there’s always room to improve. If your goals are to:

  • Gain back time throughout the day
  • Increase overall productivity
  • Focus on core HR objectives 
  • Ensure 100% payroll accuracy, and
  • Offer the most competitive benefits package for your employees

Then the UZIO team is right here to help. Call us today (or send us a message). We can’t wait to hear from you!


  1. https://bit.ly/EllenSherberg
  2. https://on.mktw.net/2YgOh4c