How Hybrid Working promotes Inclusivity and Equity of Experience
One effect of the pandemic was to accelerate workplace trends that had already been germinating for years. One of these trends is distributed work. This concept is not new, but has grown in popularity. Distributed work is here to stay.
As companies shifted to remoted work practically overnight, workers and organizations struggled to adapt. Many organizations were ill equipped and took time to adjust to the new way of working. But a year later, as workers and organizations adjusted, leaders warmed to the idea that workers could be productive away from the office.
The shift speaks for itself; up to 70 percent of organizations are planning for at least some portion of their workforce continuing to work from home. (1) Research from Harvard Business School confirms this, with more than 81 percent of office workers saying that they do not see themselves returning to the post-COVID office five days a week. (2)
Approaches to Distributed Work
There are several ways to approach distributed work. The “Binary strategy” labels workers as either office or remote. The “Remote-first strategy” makes working from home be the default for workers. The new leading approach, one that we believe is the most effective, is the “hybrid strategy”. This allows employees to exercise autonomy in choosing from a variety of options both within and beyond the office for where they’ll work on a given day. This considers the needs of remote workers as well as their colleagues in the office.
Inclusivity and Equity
The workforce consists of varying groups of people with diverse needs. An individual’s productivity and engagement can be affected by a myriad of factors – from working styles, project deadlines, home office conditions, and parenting responsibilities, any number of needs can be varied on any specific day.
By trusting employees to make choices based on their daily tasks and preferences, workers can take into account their varying needs and be supported and productive.
This then allows the office to be reshaped into a sought-after destination for connections that cannot be created virtually.