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HR is Not Flexible With Workplace Flexibility

HR is Not Flexible With Workplace Flexibility


According to a new survey, the HR function is a growing disappointment among corporate leadership.  For now, HR is in the game but very close to getting benched.  According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), “The survey report, Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World, revealed that the HR function has new challenges to meet and old perceptions to shed.”  The survey, sponsored by KPMG, obtained responses from 418 leaders worldwide in the spring of 2012.

There were three big issues covered in the report:

  1. Balancing the global and the local (managing, hiring and identifying talent globally while retaining important local insights)
  2. Managing a flexible and virtual workforce (but not at the cost of loyalty and career development)
  3. Retaining the best talent (maintaining employee engagement in the face of a less committed, more flexible workforce)

I want to discuss #2 in this blog post.

HR is Not Flexible with Workplace Flexibility

That’s what the report said: HR is not flexible. One of the claims is that HR is not flexible concerning flexible working arrangements and accommodating the ever-increasing distributive workforce.  “Survey respondents are embracing the concept of a wider range of flexible work arrangements, which can reduce labor costs and allow greater access to talent,” according to the report.

The KPMG report also stated:

  • 60% of businesses have increased their use of virtual workspaces
  • 48% reduced their reliance on physical office premises
  • Hot-desking¹ is increasing
  • 55% have hired more contractual or temporary workers in the last three years
  • 41% are using former employees as contractors
  • 72% of respondents said their companies should increase the use of both virtual and flexible workers
  • 24% of respondents believed their HR department effectively supports an increasingly virtual and flexible workforce
¹Hot-desking: Multiple workers using a single physical work station during different time periods.
It appears HR has dropped the ball.  The workPLACE has become less important. It is not where you work. It is the RESULTS of your work that are important. HR groups, however, are bogged down in trying to manage people rather than managing projects. Even while leaders are wanting to move forward to take advantage of technology and reduce their real estate costs and improve productivity. Like I said, HR has dropped the ball.
What are your thoughts about the changing world of work?
Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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