Impact of COVID-19 on the workforce and HR functions

HR Pulse Survey 2020

Every year the HR Pulse Survey, a joint exercise carried out by PwC Malta and the Foundation for Human Resources Development (FHRD), looks to identify the key HR challenges being faced by local organisations and to gain insight on the priorities for people management going forward. This year the workforce faced a transformative pressure that many had not prepared for. The COVID-19 pandemic shook economies, societies and organisations, quickly transforming working practices and employment markets across the globe. Malta was no exception. All organisations locally, are looking to tackle the daily challenges of the pandemic while ensuring their businesses remain sustainable in the long-term.

COVID-19 has accelerated transformation in some areas, halted progress in others and shed light on how the future of work has evolved. The changes we are currently facing will shape the way we work in the future. As organisations undergo massive transformations how will workplaces and teams be impacted in the long run? Which of the HR practices we are adopting in urgency today are here to stay and which will shift back to the normal we knew prior to the pandemic?

Explore key findings 

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Explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world of work locally



The HR Function 

58% of respondents stated that their HR team was well prepared to manage the changes that occurred


53% of respondents stated that at the start of the pandemic all recruitment plans had been stalled

22% stated that they were still uncertain as to when they will begin recruiting again

Training & Development

53% stated training and development activities are now done online

Performance Management

60% of respondents stated that the way performance is measured has changed in some way in light of the pandemic

Reasons it changed include:

  • Performance is now more focussed on output;

  • Digital skills and readiness to embrace change are given more importance;

  • More importance has been given to participation in upskilling initiatives and being proactive in employees’ own upskilling;

  • Performance is no longer based on visibility at the office.


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While 44% of workers found that their productivity had increased while remote working, 45% of business and HR leaders believed that productivity had actually remained the same, with only 31% saying productivity had increased.

Employment Market

61% of respondents believed that the employment market has shifted from an employee’s market to an employer’s market due to recent events



Working Practices 

49% believed the majority of their workforce will be working remotely 1-2 days per week in the future

47% are planning to implement greater flexibility in work hours going forward

Contact us

Michel Ganado

Michel Ganado

Advisory Partner, PwC Malta

Tel: +356 2564 7091

Claudine Attard

Claudine Attard

Senior Manager, Advisory, PwC Malta

Tel: +356 2564 7026

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