September 28, 2022
Millions of people and businesses worldwide have been forced into hybrid virtual work over the last two years, many of them for the first time. Numerous studies have demonstrated that employers strongly desire that their workers come back to the office as soon as feasible. Employees? Not really, for a variety of reasons, including work-life balance, family, and health. Now that coronavirus and its variants have been discovered, vaccines and treatments promise to return life to normal, but workers are holding greater sway in the huge discussion currently taking place about the future of workplace arrangements.
Our most recent findings support the notion that hybrid work will be around. More than four out of five survey participants who had experience with hybrid models during the previous two years would like to continue using them in the future. Nowadays, a lot of employees want hybrid agreements that allow them to work remotely at least occasionally. There is proof that hybrid work arrangements can improve organisational performance by increasing employee engagement and decreasing attrition. However, a lot of corporate executives still have doubts about how effective hybrid working is. A sizable number of employers believe they will want full-time attendance from workers. This discussion’s current focal point is “employee quality of life versus corporate productivity.” This overlooks something crucial to harnessing the power and potential of a workforce, however: hybrid working can be a critical enabler of workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I).
Let us look at how this new work model benefit diversity and inclusivity in an organization:
Elimination of Geographical Barriers
In the past, most businesses favoured hiring individuals who resided close to their headquarters. Researchers found that candidates who lived merely 5–6 miles away from the recruiting firms got one-third fewer calls than those who lived closer to the location of employment. Companies were drawn to hire local people because it was more effective and less expensive.
Unfortunately, concentrating only on a small geographic area makes it more difficult for recruiters to find high talent and underrepresented prospects. You’ll be able to cast a broader net to identify underrepresented applicants from locations other than where your organisation is located by implementing a hybrid work environment.
Encourage LGBQT+ Employees to Feel More Safe
LGBQT+ employees are more likely to encounter daily challenges than their coworkers do in the office setting. A 2018 study found that LGBQT+ employees had their dress code criticised by coworkers, and that a couple felt worn out from devoting so much time and effort to concealing their sexual orientation and gender identity. Even simple tasks like going to the bathroom can make people anxious, and many nonbinary and transgender employees have reported being harassed for using a restroom that doesn’t correspond to their natal sex.
Such workplace diversity difficulties can be mitigated via hybrid work. It can provide these employees with the psychological security and calm work environment they need to do their duties to the highest standard.
Alleviate Challenges Faced by Women with primary family care responsibilities
Women with family responsibilities have always been difficult to draw in and retain. The crisis over Covid-19 made it worse. To address the special problem of juggling childcare schedules with commuting, many women express a particularly strong desire for flexible work arrangements. This is made worse for people who have additional care obligations, such as those who have elderly parents or disabled relatives.
The hybrid approach helps working women with their particular lifestyle requirements. By removing and minimising obstacles that would otherwise hinder one’s career and/or quality of life, it effectively levels the playing field at work.
Increased Support for People With Mental & Physical Disability
For many of the millions of people with some sort of impairment, commuting is a substantial and frequently tangible barrier. For those whose houses have been modified to meet their needs, remote work can make it easier for them to contribute and integrate into the organisation. This does not negate the need for us to address the persistent issues with public transportation and office layout, but it can be beneficial for people who still have to deal with these issues on a daily basis.
Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that not all disabilities are physical: an anxiety condition has been diagnosed in 18% of Americans. Many of these people struggle to make it to work five days a week, especially if their journey is long, difficult, or involves congested public transportation. Modern office layouts now accommodate neurodiversity by providing quick access to private or quieter areas as needed, although many areas are still difficult for people with sensitive bodies.
Support People with Economic Housing Limitation
Even before the epidemic, commute times had been steadily rising longer, with an increasing number of “super commuters” traveling more than 90 minutes one way as a result of high housing costs in the areas near their workplaces.
Because they cannot afford to reside within an acceptable commute distance of the office, many people wind up being effectively excluded from job prospects. This raises hiring difficulties for workers in various demographic groups, notably marginalized communities and minorities, and makes one’s residence an implicit requirement for employment.
How to Promote Diversity & Inclusivity in the Workplace in a Hybrid Work Model?
Higher levels of flexibility, a better work-life balance, and a more specialised employee experience could all be provided via hybrid jobs. These can have a disproportionately favourable effect on performance and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives as mentioned earlier. Hybrid work also has the potential to accentuate in-group versus out-group dynamics and create an unequal playing field, which might turn those advantages into liabilities. Adopting poorly thought-out hybrid work models could instead hasten employee exits, reduce inclusion, and degrade performance in organizations where it is already difficult to attract, hire, and retain talent. Undoubtedly, it takes skill and finesse to reap the rewards of a hybrid workplace that is more inclusive. The following advice can help you put your hybrid workplace on the right track in terms of inclusivity and diversity:
- Meetings should be moderated to prevent either group from feeling as though their opinions are not respected.
- Utilize software like Asana to create novel collaborative strategies. The remote and in-office teams will need to work together well in order for them to coexist rather than compete.
- Reiterate the value of remote work by encouraging employees to do so. This will prevent individuals who prefer to work remotely from feeling pressured to make the decision.
- Make accommodating work schedules the norm for all personnel.
Homeworking has been an alternative for flexible work practises for many years, but the recent pandemic has given them a significant boost. The stigma associated with persons who have alternate work schedules and the doubt surrounding “shirking from home” have mostly vanished. Managers now know how to successfully manage and direct remote teams. Because of the development and increased adoption of technology, hardware and software solutions that facilitate flexible working are now considered standard.
Now, businesses must concentrate on how to accept these changes and seize the chance they present to advance their DE&I strategy. The ideal work environment can produce the work-life balance that employees seek, the high levels of engagement and productivity that the CEO demands, and a varied and equitable workforce that will foster the innovation and growth that are essential for achieving true competitive advantage. Hybrid working has the potential to be a truly win-win situation for all parties involved when implemented properly.