Suzanne Lucas on The New role for HR following the Pandemic

Suzanne Lucas on The New Role for HR following the Pandemic

We bring to you ‘The Shape of Work’, a Podcast series that brings to you insights from top People Managers across the world on the future of work and how it’s shaping our workplace. Anything goes conversation with our speakers about their journey, insights and thoughts. Most importantly their ideas and visions for the workplace of the future. See all posts here


Presenting to you, “The Shape of Work,” Podcast series by Springworks. Each week, we’ll be talking to top people managers across the world about the “future of work” and how it’s shaping our workplace. So sit back and get ready to find out more from these movers and shakers.  We have conversations with them about their journey, insights and thoughts. Most importantly their ideas and visions for the workplace of the future. See all posts here


We interviewed Suzanne Lucas, a freelance writer known for her blogs on her page, “EvilHRLady.”. She covered several points on how the Department of Human Resources was not given the importance it deserved. It is the pandemic that made people realize the importance of HR in an organization.

She also talked about inducing changes in HR policies to reflect the workplace reality during remote work.

Suzanne is popular for her incredible original ideas about the HR space and for putting people first in all her ideas. Her blogs reach 300,000 to 500,000 viewers per month and are considered one of the best sources to understand the HR world.

Her main focus is Human Resources and business issues. She helps people managers perform better and employees understand their workspace. She spent 10 years in the field of corporate HR, where she hired, fired, managed numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers. Her work has appeared in Inc, The New York Times, CBS Moneywatch, Cornerstone’s ReWork, and many other places.

Let us walk you through some of the important insights from our interview with Suzanne!

HR as an important part of business changes during pandemic

Apart from a few businesses that were affected positively, most of them have been affected negatively. Every business was bound to make changes. The Essentials stores had to revamp their way of functioning in order to keep their employees safe and the HR turned out to be a critical part of that. Moreover, every country had new laws on how to do things and it was the responsibility of HR t to implement those changes, which was not very easy. 

HR showed massive care for their employees during pandemic 

Suzanne runs a Facebook group, called Evil HR lady which has more than 6,000 people from the field of HR. She shares that she saw plenty ofHRs from all over the world trying to help each other out in order to get through this pandemic. They would share materials as references to make others’ jobs easy. She was overwhelmed when she found how much they cared about each other and their own employees’ job, health and safety.

Remote work makes it difficult for new hires to build a relationship with co-workers

Even though Suzanne has worked remotely exclusively for 12 years, she believes that remote work is not for everyone. She shares that working from the office made all of us build relationships with our coworkers. They might still be able to maintain those relationships. But when you hire new people who have never met you, it will be difficult for them to build such relationships. Physically meeting is how humans build relationships and are able to feel free to share a little about themselves and their personal lives. However, it has become more difficult now to have spontaneous conversations.

Zoom fatigue is real

Zoom fatigue is an equally important problem because of the lockdown. Hopefully, this problem will be resolved as the Covid-19 is sorted. Our feelings and attitudes are largely conveyed by non-verbal signals such as facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures, posture and the distance between the communicators. In a face-to-face meeting, we process these cues largely automatically while listening to the speaker at the same time. But on a video chat, we need to work harder to process non-verbal cues. Paying more attention to these consumes a lot of energy.

Also, in face-to-face meetings, we rely heavily on non-verbal cues to make emotional judgments, such as assessing whether a statement is credible. We automatically take in information such as: Is the person fidgeting? Relying predominantly on non-verbal information to infer other people’s emotions is tiring.

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Priya Bhatt

I cover Employee stories at Springworks.

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