Most HR professionals see automation as key to making hybrid office policy work, study shows

HYBRID workplace policies have become a key tool for retaining talent, and will require a corresponding investment in systems and services that enable such an environment, according to a survey of human resources (HR) practitioners conducted by Sprout Solutions.

The HR services company said in a statement on Thursday that the top items on HR professionals’ wish lists are automated HR systems, mental and physical health resources, and company-wide allowances for transportation, electricity, and internet. 

“Innovation and technology are no longer just novelty advantages to improve the employee experience,” Sprout Chief Executive Officer Patrick Gentry said in a Thursday statement. “2022 is shaping up to be the year hybrid work becomes the rule rather than the exception, and tech has a huge role to play.”

The annual report also found that the hybrid work era has made employees less reluctant to resign because they can choose companies that offer better salary, benefits and career opportunities.

To adapt to the hybrid set-up, companies will have to make a digital shift, Sprout said, providing HR software that will help businesses remain efficient.

Many HR functions have migrated to automated systems, the solutions company said. In 2022, only 22% of the over 200 respondents processed payroll manually, while 60% processed payroll through a human resources information system. Digital recruitment tools have also become the norm, streamlining talent acquisition.

“HR tech should not only be seen as a tool to reduce the administrative burden. Instead, HR leaders and professionals should leverage HR tech to create cohesive and connected hybrid working communities and build a culture that inspires productivity and collaboration,” Mr. Gentry said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan