New Delhi: While the COVID-19 effect is being felt by industries across the spectrum, 72% of the organisations in India believe that its full impact will be felt beyond six months, an EY survey.

Around 70% of the organisations believe that the single biggest concern for continued remote working is fall in productivity, said the study titled "HR resilience planning--COVID19 impact and preparedness".

At this time of crisis, organisations must adapt to the changing ways of working, and invest in the right IT infrastructure and build in structured mechanisms to institutionalise remote working. Organisations that were not accustomed to virtual working have faced the heat and have had to mobilise IT infrastructure and set up data security protocols at a very short notice.

"Going forward, the opportunities for organisations lie in institutionalising digital ways of working, rethinking workforce models and resource plans, revamping traditional employee engagement models and techniques, redesigning the performance management process and restructuring benefits and policies," said Anurag Malik, Partner and India Workforce Advisory Leader, People Advisory Services, EY India. The crisis is also forcing organisations to re-look at the HR processes and operations through a digital lens.

More than 70% of the organisations are now moving to virtual methods of recruitment, and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning are leading this change.

Around 87% of the respondents currently have travel restrictions in place in addition to the mandated ones, said the study. An important dimension that organisations will have to consider is the psychological impact of the crisis on their employees.

While some organisations have started virtual yoga and psychological counselling sessions, a holistic approach to employee wellness will be imperative. Over 50% of the organisations foresee medium to significant impact on employee cost, while others are still unclear, the results showed.

Many organisations have adopted an employee centric view and trying to protect the junior management, a few are also offering additional payouts, hazard pay to support their workforce through these tough times.

Only 22% organisations are thinking about manpower optimisation in the short term (maintaining an employee centric view), while 35% organisations want to look at optimisation in the future basis business impact and in line with the newer ways of working.

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