Aug 09 2021

The Bright Side of COVID-19 - From HR and Business Perspective

“The pandemic has shut down many economies, as well as businesses. Hence, many businesses have learned to allow employees to work from home, which was unthinkable before. ”

by  KC Kwa, CEO & Founder , JustLogin

Back in early February 2020 after the 1st COVID case first emerged in Singapore, I was having a meeting as a committee member of a business federation. Everyone was wondering how we should conduct the next meeting with social distancing measures in place. That was when I introduced Zoom to them, a tool that we had been using in JustLogin for a few years for online meetings.

Everyone was excited to try, and I have attended a few webinars professionally organized by the federation since then.

Zoom meetings have since replaced face-to-face meetings. Our customers who were used to face-to-face training are now preferring online training, which allows us to arrange the best trainers from our regional offices to do the job. This has resulted in our training satisfaction survey score going up from 90% to 98%.

Our sales team has become more productive as they can have more sales demonstrations per day, savings precious traveling time and can also cover markets in different regions as well.

The pandemic has shut down many economies, as well as businesses. Hence, many businesses have learned to allow employees to work from home, which was unthinkable before.

However, within every crisis, there are always opportunities.

The Singapore Government has taken this opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation for hawkers. For instance, each hawker will get a $1500 in cash grant if they adopt e-Payment. The F&B businesses will also get further support if they adopt online delivery services. Businesses can also get up to $10,000 under the Digital Resilience Bonus if they adopt multiple digital technologies such as PayNow, e-invoicing and even HR software.

For the businesses, I would like to highlight three opportunities as a result of this pandemic.

1. Hire talents remotely

If nothing else, the pandemic has highlighted that it is possible for employees to work remotely.

Even in not-so-advanced places like Myanmar, we have all our software engineers working remotely for close to a year, despite having a brand-new office in a Tech Park.

Given the talent crunch in Singapore and the restrictions in hiring foreign manpower, it is getting harder to find the right talents locally.

We are surrounded by millions of low-cost talents in the region. For jobs that can be carried out working from home, they can be done by someone working from their homes in other parts of the world.

Doing so will relieve the talent shortage situation in Singapore without crowding our transport systems or housing estates. Most importantly, for every talent you hire in Singapore, you can probably hire a few in the region.

2. Downsize the office and save on rental

Office space is never cheap in Singapore.

Like many businesses in Singapore, we have been continuously paying office rent since the Circuit Breaker last year despite it being empty most of the time. For certain months, we could only have up to 50% of our workforce in the office.

Since we are able to survive working from home as the default mode, there is no reason to go back to 100% working from the office. Employees’ expectation has also changed and businesses have to keep up with such expectations in order to attract and retain talents.

When the lease is up for renewal, I believe many businesses will think hard and consider renting a smaller office while allowing employees to partially work from home. This can save up to thousands of dollars in a rental every month.

3. Innovate new products to meet new demand

The post-COVID world will no longer be the same. The experts say COVID is here to stay just like common flu.

People are now more used to online platforms, temperature taking has become the routine, preference for contactless devices are prevalent. Parents and children are used to e-learning, even old folks have learned to use their mobile phones for SafeEntry or Paynow.

The new world has created many new business opportunities. For instance, in Justlogin, we have developed a new product called SafeClock which is based on an Android device to provide an integrated service to take temperature, open door and clock in at the same time through facial recognition and register SafeEntry automatically.

I have seen many other new services that are aiming to address the needs of the new world. The new opportunities are there for entrepreneurs and business leaders to discover and pursue.

Conclusion

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people and jobs rather adversely, there is also a bright side to this tragedy if we can seize the opportunities inadvertently created by this crisis.


KC founded JustLogin in 1999 with a vision to provide the best HR software in the cloud to any company anywhere in the world. With over 30 years of experience in software development and management in organizations like DSO National Laboratory and ST Electronics Ltd, he has led the company to develop robust, scalable and user-friendly HR software that serves thousands of companies in the region. In 2017, KC won the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. LinkedIn

JustLogin on hrtech.sg marketplace & 2021 Singapore HRTech Marketmap 

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