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HR Issues to Address in 2021

Published On: January 12, 2021

It is a new year and with a new year comes new challenges for every industry and profession to face. HR professionals had a lot of new challenges come their way in 2020 as remote work became the norm and industries were in a constant state of adapting to new information and policies. 2021 will have HR professionals dealing with some of the same challenges that 2020 brought, along with some new developments. We are going to take a look at what HR issues will be relevant to Canadian HR professionals in the new year.

Long-Term Effects of Remote Work

The shift to remote work in 2020 was one of the largest changes undergone in almost every industry and the effects of that change are going to be prevalent in 2021.

One of the greater concerns regarding remote work is the long-term effects it can have on remote employees. Although there are many benefits that come with remote work for both employer and employee alike, it can have a substantial negative effect on an employee’s mental health. Working from home means missing out on the regular, small social interactions that occur when you work in-person. Lack of social interaction can have a negative effect on a person’s mental well-being, and that effect can be exacerbated by remote working conditions. On the other hand, remote work has increased the need for regular meetings over video calls, and remote workers are experiencing video call fatigue from the increase in mandatory, formal meetings. HR professionals will have to find ways to overcome these challenges in 2021. Taking an HR program to upgrade their skills would benefit them.

Maintaining Corporate Culture

Remote work is also shifting how corporate culture is formed and maintained. Before the pandemic, employers could build interpersonal relationships and develop corporate culture through face-to-face interactions. With remote work limiting social interactions and largely removing the ability for employers and employees to interact in person, particularly in groups, 2021 will challenge HR professionals to find new ways to cultivate and maintain a healthy, productive work culture.

Changing Business and Social Restrictions

The policies for handling the COVID-19 pandemic are continuing to alter business practices in 2021. With laws, policies and restrictions from provincial and federal government changing frequently, HR professionals will find themselves focused on dealing with these new policies and helping their companies adapt to the changes. Larger companies may find themselves having to work with laws differing across the provinces they operate in, which will require extra attention from the HR department.

HR teams should already have experience in managing the effects of new policies on an organization due to the massive changes of 2020, but 2021 will require HR professionals to be even more adept, as employees may become increasingly agitated with the continuous changes.

Retaining and Hiring

The way companies hire employees will continue to change in 2021 in order to adapt to present working conditions. The shift to remote work means a shift in what to look for in potential employees, as well as a change in how you keep them on board. Employees who thrive in a remote working environment are different from employees who work best in an in-person environment.

HR professionals in 2021 will have to continue to revamp their hiring process and look at how to retain remote employees.

Taking on the Challenge of 2021

Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or new to the field, Ashton College offers a comprehensive Human Resources Management Diploma, as well a selection of industry-relevant HR continuing education courses that will help you take on whatever 2021 brings. Apply now for the diploma program or register for a continuing education course and take your career.


The information contained in this post is considered to be true and accurate as of the date of publication. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog.


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