Digitech Insights. 25 Apr 2022
Workplace diversity and inclusion are a priority for today’s modern organisations, but how can it be put into practice when you adopt hybrid working models? As the traditional workplace continues to change and evolve and more and more companies adopt hybrid working models, ensuring diversity and inclusion when employees are working remotely can be a challenge.
But with careful consideration and a review of working practices, diversity and inclusion can remain at the core of the workplace. Let’s take a look at six top tips organisations should consider promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.
As hybrid working in the long-term will be a learning curve for both the employer and employees, it is imperative that extensive planning is undertaken to try and consider every situation that may arise and these plans and practices should be clearly communicated with the whole team.
Developing and implementing a clear plan, as well as asking employees of all levels for their input and feedback can help them feel included and more connected to the new way of working. When employees know what is expected of them and what they should be doing it can help them feel more secure in their role.
While not a new thing, flexible working hasn’t been that commonplace until recently. Lessons learned from the pandemic and the shift to remote working are now being put into practice with more companies offering flexible working options to all staff.
Flexible working can take a variety of shapes, it can be staggered start times, quiet days with no meetings or set days in the office, but whichever form it takes it can help improve the work life balance for employees and has also been shown to boost productivity and loyalty.
By far one of the hardest elements of hybrid working and ensuring inclusion is taking on new staff. In a traditional working model, everyone is working from the same location all the time so connections are made quickly and particularly for junior members of staff there is the safety net of being able to use colleagues as sounding boards.
While this can all still happen in a hybrid working environment, it can be harder when you are not sat next to the people you are working with or haven’t had many face-to-face meetings with them. Developing a better onboarding process for new staff is crucial to ensuring they feel connected to their colleagues. Mentorships are a great way to help someone settle into a company when working remotely and can also make collaboration easier.
With hybrid working, some employees will be in the office on certain days while others will be working remotely, this results in team meetings being a mix of those who are physically in the same room and others who have joined virtually.
There can be a tendency for in-person employees to take priority and those joining virtually to feel left out of the loop. Assigning a person to moderate meetings and ensuring an inclusive environment can really help eradicate feelings of isolation. Team meetings are also a great place to reinforce workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Consider all the tools and technologies that are available to make remote collaboration easier to ensure your teams can work together just as effectively. When people are working from different locations it is easy for them to feel disconnected from their team, the project or the company.
But streamlining collaboration processes and digitally transforming the workplace can help employees feel they are working in an inclusive environment, despite them being in another location.
Some employees will want to work remotely and others will prefer to work in the office, this viewpoint can vary depending on age, gender and lifestyle factors. But by offering everyone the same opportunities to choose where they work from it can help squash any feelings of being excluded by those who choose to work remotely.
Hybrid working is also helping working mothers to stay in the workforce, with many saying they are more productive working from home and it allows them to achieve a better work life balance. So hybrid working can actually drive inclusion, equally it can drive diversity as when you remove the geographic factor of a job the talent pool becomes much wider and enables employers to hire a more diverse workforce.
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Whether you need a contingent resource to meet a peak in demand, are looking to hire for a permanent position or want to engage with contract workers, we can help you find candidates that have the right skill set and are a good fit for your business. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and see how we can help.