From a legal perspective, it is considered that the laws are constantly changing, which requires that the Companies frequently update their knowledge and internal regulations. Nevertheless, the evolution of technology is faster than the evolution of the laws that regulate the labor relationships, because they do not go head to head and this is reflected on what the Companies and the employees live today.
An example of this is the Labor Code of Costa Rica, which entered into force in 1943. At the time this law was issued, it was not considered that a pandemic could occur in the future, much less it seemed necessary to have laws that would bring options to mitigate a global emergency, such as the one generated since December 2019 by COVID-19.
Although it is true that the pandemic has affected many sectors in the country and has generated many layoffs, there are companies that have taken greater advantage of the provisions of the law to regulate telework and its regulations, as it allows work to be carried out in a manner remote without interrupting the activities of the business, provided that the activity of the company allows it.
A challenge rather than a solution. For the most recent generations, where technology has always been present, it might seem simple and even necessary that the Companies should be more technology-friendly, not only in the execution of the work, but also for the processes of on-site doctors, occupational health and many other departments of a Company.
Like it has happened with the laws, the majority of Companies have not taken the path to digitize the relationships with their employees, which has led to the need of taking faster decisions because of the pandemic to avoid affecting the business continuity.
On the other hand, there is a minority of Companies that for several years have been adjusting all their processes, to adjust the recruitment, training and execution of the tasks to be totally virtual. The virtual modality can be understood as one that develops the entire employment relationship without the person having to be present on the Company premises, because even the delivery of the equipment can be done in coordination through delivery services.
The biggest challenge for Companies that have not prepared for a remote working world and take advantage of the technology will be to invest resources in preparing mechanisms to digitize everything possible, this to guarantee that the virtual relationship is as productive as in the workplace.
Technology is a tool that will make life easier in the “new normal”. It is necessary for Companies to be proactive, take advantage of the existing resources and not wait for a law to indicate how to handle these aspects, since it can be regulated through internal labor policies or internal regulations. Technology can be the best ally if the Company knows how to get the most out of it.