When the pandemic first hit, HR professionals throughout the region had to mobilise, think through the likes of furlough, and quickly ensure that the right policies and procedures were in place to support working from home, as well as making sure their employees had the equipment they needed to perform their jobs. I am very proud to say that our entire EMEA workforce was working from home within around three days. This was due to a lot of hard work and support from many individuals, not least our IT and Info Security teams who were really thrust to the forefront to make the transition to remote working as seamless as possible.
Additionally, in the last year, the pastoral care of workforces has been more important than ever, ensuring people were cared for mentally, and also supporting managers and people leaders by giving them the right tools and talk tracks to help with any challenges faced by individuals in their teams. Like many of our survey respondents from the region, I’ve been in regular communication with my team via a number of channels, including daily group calls, regular one-to-ones, and informal check-ins, to ensure that everybody is OK.
Since the start of the pandemic, despite everything, it has been heartening to see some of the benefits that have come out of this dreadful situation. The work-life balance has never been better for many, with remote working cutting out commuting time and allowing individuals to spend more time with their families.
Many businesses have seen the benefits too, with fears of an unproductive workforce being widely dispelled – 37% of EMEA respondents to our 2021 Global Benchmark Survey said they expect over half of their workforce will work remotely in some capacity by January 2022, compared to just 19% who said this was the case in January 2020.
As the vaccine rollout continues apace in the UK, and within the rest of the EMEA region, it will be interesting to see how companies address the growing demand for remote working over the rest of 2021 and beyond. However, whether EMEA businesses will be hiring for office-based or remote workers in the future, HireRight will be there to partner with our customers to help ensure that their hiring risks are addressed and mitigated through an effective background screening programme.
You can read some of the key takeaways for EMEA businesses in the executive summary below:
Find out more about the findings of HireRight’s 2021 Global Benchmark Survey by downloading the 2021 Global Benchmark Report.