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Foster Inclusion in Hybrid Workspaces

Employees want to feel they belong and fulfil their potential, even when they work remotely.

Brief Summary

The current hybrid workplace model is a result of rapidly assembled remote workplaces now slowly shifting back to the office. The Future Forum Pulse survey found in late 2021 that 58% of knowledge workers had moved to hybrid workplace and 68% preferred it.  People expect flexibility in where they work (78%) and when they work (95%). 72% who were not satisfied with the flexibility at their job were looking elsewhere. McKinsey research found that more than 3 out of 4 people prefer a hybrid workplace and that 4 out of 5 people who worked in hybrid models over the last two years want to keep those arrangements.

This research also found that, while 75% of white knowledge workers in the US want hybrid or fully remote work, that increases among Hispanic/Latinx (86%), Asian-American (81%) and black (81%) employees. Women, working mothers and women of color are more likely, overall, to opt into flexible work arrangements.

Challenge

Employees, increasingly looking to be purpose-aligned, want to feel engaged at work while simultaneously know that their lives outside of work are valued. They want to feel they belong & to fulfill their potential, even when they work remotely.

But more physical distance and fewer in-person interactions can create psychological distance and lead to misunderstandings.

The perceived correlation between visibility and productivity impacts who is considered for a promotion. The level of commitment needed to deliver quality work during COVID, especially for caregivers, was often unrecognized and undervalued.

Recommendation

Build mutually respectful relationships when remote working. Trusting relationships are less vulnerable to interpersonal conflict that can arise when in-person social cues are missing.

Encourage over-communication rather than under-communication. Intentionally onboard new hires & foster workplace connections to build a sense of belonging.

Nurture psychological safety & collaboration among teams with innovative approaches.Broaden flexibility to allow for different schedules/locations to meet employees' different personal needs.

dei progress

Proposed Actions

  • Create recruiting & onboarding practices to effectively integrate new remote workers into the culture (plan the first week in detail, provide onboarding videos, pair new employees with a mentor or buddy).
  • Encourage leaders & managers to signal availability whether in the office space or remote location. Regular check-ins with employees will help foster wellbeing & manage stress.
  • Encourage managers and leaders to role model and openly discuss their use of the hybrid workplace when it comes to location and schedule flexibility.
  • Develop a coaching and growth mindset among managers.

Valued Guidance

Implementation Plan

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