4 Essential tips for building a more equitable hybrid workplace

Creating equity in a hybrid workplace

grok

October 10, 2021 · null min readAll

Now that the country is recovering from the pandemic, companies are coming to terms with the new reality — much of the work that previously took place in-office can be done at home on a more flexible schedule. This means exploring the 2021 hybrid work model, where employees have the option to work in-office or contribute virtually. 

While remote work can reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction, it raises some valid concerns. Will hybrid work interrupt the on-site work culture? Will remote employees suffer from the lack of in-person time? 

To build a truly inclusive workplace, you need to implement a model of hybrid working that equally supports all employees. Here are a few essential hybrid work best practices to keep in mind as you start bridging the gap toward true hybrid work equity. 

1. Don’t overlook your remote workers ‌

While remote working isn’t new to the pandemic, there are some long-held biases that keep some workplaces from transitioning into a hybrid model. Employees who show up physically to their job are often seen as more committed, dedicated, and hard-working. This can lead to remote workers being overlooked for promotions and downgraded on performance evaluations. 

This bias isn’t a thing of the past, either. One recent study found that 64% of managers view in-person employees as higher-performing and are more likely to give them a raise compared to their remote counterparts. 

To overcome this, you have to first be aware of it. All managers and leaders should be trained to fairly assess their workers. It takes a workplace culture that truly values their contributions to make sure that your remote employees feel like they’re a part of the team. 

2. Ensure equitable access to resources

You shouldn’t limit your support of remote employees to an equitable work culture — you should provide them with concrete resources, too. 

Anyone working from home needs access to all of the essentials: Laptops, monitors, high-speed internet, the right furniture, etc. Ensuring your remote workers have these things is the first step toward creating a seamless collaboration experience. 

This goes beyond material resources. Many remote workers will be new to working from home. They might need guidance on how to stay focused, engaged, and productive when they’re away from the workplace. This can look like a training guidebook on best practices for virtual work, assistance creating a flexible work-from-home routine, or regular check-ins on a messaging app to keep them on track.

3. Invest in collaborative tools 

In today’s technology-driven world, there’s no excuse for leaving remote workers out of the loop. From live chats to forums to collaborative platforms, digital tools can help your employees stay connected, no matter where they are. 

Instead of in-person meetings, whiteboards, and flip charts, opt for virtual meetings and online brainstorming tools that will give your remote workers the same opportunities to engage as your in-person employees. 

4. Give your employees a voice ‌

The needs of your employees are the heart of hybrid work equity. Their concerns and preferences should be driving every decision you make. 

Are you making changes to the schedule? Adding on-site resources? Transitioning to a new digital collaboration tool? Check in with your employees to get their feedback on how this will affect them. 

Prioritizing their voices will help you build a workplace where everyone feels valued and wants to show up — virtually or otherwise. 

The bottom line 

Ultimately, we’re all just trying to figure out how to move forward and continue the work. Creating remote work equity is an ongoing process and one that requires empathy. 

As the months go on and the country begins to recover, your hybrid working model will need to evolve. Keep checking in on your employees, incorporate feedback, and focus on providing them with what they need to succeed. 

When your company values its employees — no matter their location or situation — everyone will feel supported to do their best work. 

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