Covid-19 is changing the world, and the workplace with it. Under lockdown measures to contain the pandemic, we've seen the largest ever working from home experiment unleashed across our businesses. It is testament to the resilience of UK companies that many have been pleasantly surprised by the benefits remote and flexible working has to offer.

That said, working from home is not without its challenges, and most organisations have had to face up to a radically different world of work with little preparation. With circumstances surrounding the virus constantly changing, HR departments in particular have faced a battle to keep their employees informed – and most importantly – safe.

As with any central repository for organisational knowledge, chatbots are the perfect tool to ease the burden on HR staff throughout the pandemic and beyond. They can help ensure that all employees – regardless of their individual circumstances – receive accurate, up to date information, even when external situations change fast.

Here we'll look at some of the benefits in a bit more detail.

Deal with unprecedented demand

In times of uncertainty and change, people are bound to have more questions. Can I come into work? What new safety measures are in place? What is the policy around taking time off work?

These kinds of employee queries can easily translate into hundreds of enquiries per day to HR departments in large organisations. Yet they are also easily automated. Creating an HR chatbot provides a centralised, up to date locus for organisational knowledge around these issues, which is easy to update as advice changes

Customise advice

In an increasingly flexible work environment, employees deserve to be treated as individuals. This involves taking their personal circumstances into account with respect to things like working hours and terms, childcare requirements, and healthcare needs.

In spite of the benefit this brings to staff, it inevitably means more complications for HR departments, who have to stay abreast of a greater variety of employment contracts and agreements. Chatbots can help them provide the right answers, resources and advice for their staff, even when they have highly personalised individual circumstances.

Stay up to date

In a pandemic, the situation changes all the time. One thing that organisations cannot afford to do is give their employees inaccurate or out of date advice.

According to CIPD, 'Employers have a statutory duty of care for people’s health and safety, and to provide a safe place to work, but there’s also a strong moral responsibility to ensure that employees feel safe and secure in their employment.' This means following official guidelines and clearly communicating them to your staff. Automating this knowledge transfer through an HR chatbot ensures that everyone has access to the information they need as the pandemic evolves.

What are your next steps?

In all areas of business, automation can make a difference - fast. In fact, it's possible to have simple solutions go live in as little as eight weeks.

HR chatbots provide employees with a quick and simple way of getting accurate information in unprecedented circumstances. They are easy and cost-effective to implement, are an excellent way to support departmental staff, and provide a fast return on investment. Covid-19 might be a catalyst for building these tools, but they will prove their value when the pandemic has passed.

If you're interested in the benefits automation can bring to your organisation, or would like to know more, then we've got a proven track record in delivering successful solutions.