The importance of building an inclusive hybrid workplace and five ways to get started.
As the concept of hybrid work continues to triumph, with more companies adopting remote options on top of their usual on-site work, it is essential that your hybrid workplace is inclusive in ensuring that employees have equal opportunities and access to growth, collaboration, and success. One way that hybrid work has allowed for better diversity is the opportunity for organizations to tap into a larger, global, talent pool. By offering the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, you are opening the door to creativity and inclusivity.
“Great talent can be found and be productive from anywhere.” - Evan Waters, SVP of Consumer Marketing at Blinkist
An inclusive hybrid workplace ensures that all employees, regardless of their location, are being provided equal opportunities and access to resources. It is one that values everyone’s unique contributions and ensures that there exists equal respect and encouragement.
One of the challenges of implementing hybrid work is unfair treatment and collaboration difficulty. This does not necessarily mean that it happens on purpose, as it could be unavoidable. However, by prioritizing inclusivity, organizations can create a positive work environment that enhances employee well-being whilst improving organizational performance.
For example, organizations can implement flexible work arrangements, introduce more inclusive communication channels, invest in technology and accessibility, and lead by example to promote inclusivity.
1. Flexible work arrangements
Providing your employees the flexibility of choosing where they work is incredibly valuable. Many employees would even trade pay for more flexibility. Through better work-life balance, lower stress, and a reduction in travel costs, employees are generally happier, when given flexibility in when and where they work.
2. Inclusive communication channels
Communication channels should be designed not only for smooth collaboration, but it should also be inclusive of and accessible to all employees. When it comes to building an inclusive hybrid workplace, small details matter! For example, simply displaying your working status, and current time-zone, and being transparent with your schedule are great ways to ensure that both remote and in-person employees can be active and contribute.
3. Technology and accessibility
It’s safe to say that there are different software and tools for pretty much every situation imaginable. For a hybrid workplace, there are various communication and collaboration platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace that are accessible and built to bridge the gap between remote and in-person teams. Coworking platforms and office simulator software are also unique and helpful ways to make your hybrid workplace more inclusive.
4. Training and development
Organizations should consider providing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training to all employees. Not only does this raise awareness for the importance of DEI and DEI in the workplace, but it also helps foster a workplace culture that will help strengthen relationships and understanding between employees. Investing in a training and development program shows employees that you care, and that you are making an effort in building an inclusive hybrid workplace.
5. Lead by example
Managers should lead by example, especially in a hybrid environment where communication is easier to get lost in between routines. Team bonding outings and team-building exercises are examples of how managers can foster employee relationships in the workplace. For a hybrid environment, organizing occasional gatherings outside of the office, or working together in a coworking space such as WeWork are great first steps to improving inclusivity.
“The shift to a hybrid workplace doesn’t start with new technology or corporate policies. It begins with culture—one that embraces a growth mindset, a willingness to reimagine nearly every aspect of the way work gets done.” - Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for modern work
Today, employees deem great value in flexibility and inclusivity. No one enjoys being left out or the feeling of missed opportunities. Building an inclusive hybrid workplace benefits both the organization and the employees, which is why it is important for leaders to show sensitivity and openness to help shape the hybrid work environment.
Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work.
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