How To Make Hybrid Work Environment More Inclusive

Make Hybrid Work Environment More Inclusive

Published on April 4th, 2022

The Covid -19 pandemic may have subsided, leaving so many consequences and uncertainties that businesses across the globe need to face daily. However, one thing is certain. Hybrid work is here to stay, making it easier for employees to balance work and personal life.

At the same time, business leaders running hybrid workplaces may face new forms of inequity and discrimination. If you want to prevent this from happening, you need to ensure fair treatment, encourage all employees to connect, and create meaningful ties, boosting their performance.

You’ll create a tight-knit and highly productive atmosphere by focusing on the following work aspects while creating a hybrid work policy.

Efficient Remote Recruiting And Onboarding

Many new employees haven’t had the chance to meet their future colleagues over the past two years because onboarding processes have moved online. However, HR professionals that have witnessed the benefits of virtual onboarding claim that they’ll continue with this practice in the post-Covid era.

First, this practice allows candidates who can’t afford to relocate for the job to apply for specific positions. This approach also allows you to look back at your standard practices, taking into consideration your new employees’ experiences and backgrounds.

The pandemic period has reinvented the ways we communicate and receive important information, focusing on creating time-efficient learning materials. You can follow this lead by making a set of short videos representing each onboarding phase.

These can be step-by-step guides on setting up employees’ equipment or learning specific practices. Then you can organize small group meetings where you’ll go through these materials with new team members paying attention to their questions and needs.

Also, remote workers may find it hard to cope with technology and apps that they need to use daily, without having the IT specialist at hand, the onboarding process may become more challenging for your less tech-savvy employees. You can organize a meeting between new employees and your IT team to help them overcome all the issues and make the most of their equipment.

Finally, office-based employees have the opportunity to learn the way things are functioning on the go, which isn’t the case with your remote team members. You can pair them with more experienced employees who will be the go-to people when it comes to numerous questions about the company’s standard practices and culture.

By doing this you’ll make your remote team members feel welcomed and accepted.

Tight Interpersonal Relationships

Remote employees are deprived of social interaction common to colleagues sharing office spaces. This physical distance from the office-based part of the team will result in psychological distance, making remote workers feel lonely, left out, or even depressed.

What may make matters worse, you can’t notice the signs of these detrimental states and feelings immediately and reach out to your remote workers.

However, you can use advanced technology based on virtual reality to set up virtual meeting rooms where your remote and office workers can spend some time together bonding and sharing information.

Virtual meeting spaces technology is booming, offering your employees the chance to recreate the water cooler atmosphere without sharing physical space.

You can enter this virtual world to meet with your employees while being able to start and leave the conversation whenever you like, and when you do a live video of the people you’re talking to will appear on your screen. This may be a refreshing communication alternative that can help you fight Zoom fatigue.

By working on interpersonal relationships in the workplace you’ll develop tight-knit teams with a strong sense of belonging.

Equal Chances For Promotion

The entrenched belief is that office-based workers have increased chances for promotion compared to those who work remotely. This belief is based on the fact that managers can see how productive office workers are while remote workers’ achievements often stay under the radar.

While there is no logical connection between visibility and productivity, you need to take specific steps to ensure that remote workers gain due recognition. Deploying efficient software for employee monitoring can help you achieve this by offering you a detailed insight into remote employees’ performance. You can use the monitoring data to create unbiased feedback as a base for promotions. In this way, your remote workers won’t feel unseen and left out.

Many surveys are showing that remote employees have been more productive than their office-based counterparts over the past two years. The increased work flexibility and autonomy to make work-related decisions paired with the absence of commuting and improved work/life balance have contributed to these results.

Remote Workers’ Productivity Issues

Although statistics show that remote workers are highly productive, they need to tackle numerous challenges to achieve this. And they need your help.

The working environment can affect employees’ productivity. But not everyone has an opportunity to work from a designated home office space. Numerous remote workers need to share apartments, struggling to be productive while working from a kitchen countertop frequently distracted by their roommates.

Furthermore, they can struggle with Wi-Fi bandwidth. Microsoft conducted an internal survey where around 60% of employees stated that they needed to use their phone as a hotspot to ensure a stable internet connection.

Remote workers need to tackle much more than technical issues. Another study shows that 85% of women and 70% of men with children claimed that they couldn’t focus on work because of time-consuming parental duties.

If you want to help remote workers thrive and fulfill their potential while being equally appreciated as their office-based colleagues, you need to address these issues, including effective solutions in your Hybrid Work Policy.

Paying reimbursement for work from home can be one of the ways to improve remote employees’ working conditions and keep their performance at a high level.