The Changing Role of the HR Department in Response to the Corona Virus


  • J.M.P.M. Peiris Department of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management Studies, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka



COVID-19 is a global health crisis that started in Wuhan, China, and promptly spread throughout the world. This epidemic has resulted in movement restrictions and the temporary shutdown of workplaces, thereby compelling businesses to use remote work. The objective of this conceptual study is to investigate, the HR department’s compelling new role in the workplace transition, in response to the COVID-19 post-pandemic situations within the Sri Lankan context. The conceptualisation was built upon, expanding the role of the HR department in the workplace. A comprehensive literature review was used as the method for this study to achieve the aforementioned study objective. Based on the literature, this study identified that previously HR departments focused on a day in life tasks, administering benefits, and driving to sustainable competitiveness. However, HR teams are now in support of their company's crisis management efforts. The study has identified the HR departments compelling new role in four areas: developing mental and physical well-being of employees, improving the efficiency of remote work, developing employee engagement through effective communication, and providing equal access to opportunities and resources. The practical implications attempt to promote the HR department’s expanding role in demonstrating a way to the positive results associated with workplace transition in the COVID-19 post-pandemic situation.

Keywords: COVID-19 Post-Pandemic, The Expanded Role, HR Department, Workplace Transition