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New Emerging HR Costs and "House Rules"

Updated: Oct 7


Where do you work from right now? Are you in front of your laptop, in the kitchen,

responding to e-mails while also making your coffee? You’re not alone, and you might end

up doing this for a long time.  


Many companies around the globe are preparing work-from-home initiatives for the

unforeseeable future, i.e. “the new normal” in the workplace. However, this work-from-

anywhere movement asks for a certain degree of organizational-structure “blood

sacrifice”.  


All it takes is one simple question regarding the HR cost.


Will It Cost More to Maintain a Work-From-Home

Environment Forever?


Well, the obvious answer is “no”. On the first hand, working from anywhere means more

flexibility, which can also lead to efficiency, less time spent on the daily commute, and no

more of the “trapped feeling” of the 9-to-5 “prison” that some might have been

experiencing daily.  


As of the HR and organizational ecosystem, a permanent work-from-home situation

means a shift in mentality and workflow. We will witness the metamorphosis of fixed

positions in assignments.  


The demand for skills will also change. HR managers will have to favour the more self-

disciplined, self-motivated, results-driven candidates that will bring more efficiency and

help with the cost-cutting. Besides, will remote hiring lead to an HR cost reduction? 

On the other hand, the flexible working location policy could contribute to a more

enhanced “open desk policy”. If only 50% of the total employees show up in the office every

day, then there will be about 50% workforce cost saving on staff in the back office, tech

supporting or the administration department. More than that, companies might even go as

far as reducing 50% of their office floor size.  


However, other factors might increase the HR costs during COVID, like the additional costs

associated with COVID-19 compliance, extra workload due to asynchronous collaboration,

employment contract reviews to ensure the legitimacy of remote work, and the tax/legal

implications of that, and the list can go on.


The Double-Edged Sword of Working From Home


So, yes, there is a workforce challenge here, and we’ve been discussing different aspects of it in the last two articles. Funny enough, the workforce that is best fitted for this crisis is

made of freelancers who are used to this kind of working environment and are usually self-

motivated kind of workers.


However, hiring freelancers out of the blue without having experience in doing so

could backfire. The way we see it, we might be witnessing the emergence of a new kind of

HR, the one solely specialized in hiring freelancers and managing them.

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