The Changing Role of Human Resources During COVID – An Employee’s Perspective

By Nathan Reeves - November 03, 2020

This year has been one for the history books. No one could have expected how much it would change our everyday lives both in and out of the workspace. But since we are here, let’s talk about how necessary the Human Resources Officer is to make the entire transition so much easier to deal with.

First, my story is played out in so many homes in America this year. In the middle of March our company switched to working fully from home. We had no idea how long this would last, but like most companies, we all worked together to make the change as painless as possible. One of the major things that we did was provide cameras for everyone that needed one, and setup company wide “watercooler” video meetings so that we could stay in touch with everyone’s personal life. Because we as humans, need social interaction to balance our lives. This proved to be a great foundation for us to stay in touch as a team through this difficult time.

But another important piece that has really kept us together has been our Human Resource Officer. She has been incredible, going out of her way to checking in with each employee to talk not only about work, but also about what she can do to make our lives outside of work more meaningful. From advocating time off to help our kids in school, to sick and mental health days, and planning virtual events to keep everyone’s spirits buoyed during this storm.

While my interactions with HR over the course of my career have primarily been transactional, this year has taught me that HR is much more than tangible need fulfillment, that the people who hold those positions share a profound capacity to support and encourage employees during difficult times. They understand that people are much more than employees and by exhibiting flexibility and encouraging compassion and understanding, they are permitting employees and companies to thrive. This has been such a welcome relief for all of us struggling to balance work, life and COVID and I hope this is not a temporary constitution but instead, a direction companies support even after the pandemic subsides.

Let me know in the comments how your HR Department has changed during this time, and what initiatives they have implemented over the past few months that you would like to see continue in the future.

Written by Nathan Reeves, Training and Learning for JDXpert
Full time working from home single dad, wrangler of two elementary aged minions, BBQ extraordinaire, and beer taster (we all have to have a hobby during COVID, right?).


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