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Work Behaviour in the era of Social Distancing and Industry 4.0



Subhashini S Tripathi - Founder and Chief Data Scientist at, Author and Analytics Consultant


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A long-term fallout of the COVID-19 crisis will be Social Distancing. Couple this will the increase in millennials in decision making roles in organizations

Industry 4.0 is the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes which include cyber-physical systems (CPS), the internet of things (IoT), industrial internet of things (IIOT), cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence.


HR 4.0 is essentially backed by technology and is in line with new Talent market scenarios – with special influence from the Millennial generation, which now reaches leading positions in organizations. Thus, digitisation is the way forward. Intelligence amplification is the smart way to use the data to generate insights which feed the policies and strategy in the organization. HR 4.0 is enabled for Industry 4.0.


A long-term fallout of the COVID-19 crisis will be Social Distancing. Couple this will the increase in millennials in decision making roles in organizations. This will manifest itself in some standard organizational behaviors- and changes in the unwritten rules we live by:


1.      Work from Home (WFH) as a viable model for a certain part of the workforce


2.      Mandatory and continuous health check


3.      The Feeling of loneliness and isolation


Some roles/teams within the organization that will become important now:


1. Change Management – we will need dedicated and diverse team (with leaders from all major functions) to help document the change we want to bring about in the organization – in the next 3 months, 1 year, 5 years. E.g. TCS has declared it wishes to ensure 25% of people come to office by 2025 – the rest should WFH.


2. Quick testing / medical response personnel


3. Counsellors / Mental health experts


4. Process Re-design consultants / Supply chain re-design professionals


5. Content writers – for Policy and process change documentation and for creating content at a micro-level for remote workers


6. Technology enablement team – who will also decide which apps are to be used in the organisation. There will be rapid development and launch of various, often free, apps and it will be difficult to keep track of these without a dedicated team. The apps will often be in areas related to productivity measurement, job assignment and submission tracking and communications.


7. Learning and Development team with increased focus on


·        everyday technology adoption and digitisation as well as


·        new communication etiquette and how to effectively communicate and motivate in this rapidly digitised workspace.


8. Vendor management team


Some People-Centric Practises which will see an increase in importance:


1. Create a Decision management system for Talent / People Management


It will become important to scientifically judge fitment of people to roles since manager interactions and handholding may decrease significantly. This practice will run inside the current HRMS or with plug and play models (Eg. which work across any HRMS systems.


The data from Talent Assessments will flow into the post-hiring activities – like inductions and L&D for new joinees, where this data will be used for designing more effective and shorter learning programs.


2. Increase of Gig workers as a part of workforce: Especially, for jobs where full -time employees will also be working remotely – either in part or in full, it will make better sense to engage freelancers, consultants or small firms to do parts of the work which is not related to strategic/business-critical processes.


3. Drive Business Goals with People PPE (Performance, Productivity and Engagement): Data will become the best friend of smart People Managers and the other HR Process data will be linked to the People PPE metrics, which will further be linked to the Business Goals and outcomes. Sounds complicated? This is how decision systems which are both People and Business center, will become the norm.


In conclusion, the tools that will be used in Business will change, the fundamentals of Business will not. The way people work will change, the function they perform will not. Hence, the way of life will change but the Core Values will not. The future is here - let us embrace it with a positive mindset.


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About the author:

Subhashini is an Author (“Learn Business Analytics in 6 Steps using SAS and R”) and co-founder of Pexitics (People Excellence Indicator analytics) who offer Consulting and Training services as well as Talent Assessments and Surveys . can visit to