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An Explore of the Views on the Work Transformation of HR Professionals in Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic is a both global health and an economic threat. Disease outbreaks and worldwide pandemics have posed the biggest threat to human survival. The worldwide lockdown of organisations and industries was enforced to limit the spread through discouraging staff from being present in total capacity. This, brought on by the virus, created several unique issues for both employees and employers. It has had unprecedented consequences for businesses globally, with a significant influence on Human Resource Management (HRM). With the COVID-19 situation, HRM has been pushed to navigate the unexpected and, as a result, discover new approaches to pandemic related challenges that have developed globally. Thus, businesses must consider the views of Human Resource (HR) professionals to adapt to unanticipated changes of the COVID-19. For this study, a qualitative research method was used as it aims to study the views of HR professionals in Sri Lanka on the work transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 16 HR professionals in Sri Lanka. The thematic analysis was applied to the gathered qualitative data. Accordingly, three main themes were identified, such as work mode, facilities and adoption arrangements. As per the study findings, the HR professionals in Sri Lanka do not perceive this rapid work transition as a positive move since they were unprepared for such a drastic change in work settings. Thus, they agree to work on-premises in the post-COVID situation, and if the pandemic continues, they agree and would like to continue their work in a hybrid work culture. Further, when focusing on the facilities given by the workplace, they perceive an unfavourable view of the financial incentives and Work From Home (WFH) resources. In terms of adoption arrangements, they have a negative view of work-life balance and crisis management. The insights from the experience of HR professionals and the stages they have navigated can aid in the successful management of similar crises in the future. The present study contributes to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic's influence on organisations and HRM, paving the way for additional thorough research in this domain.

Keywords: COVID-19, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Practices, Human Resource Professionals