Updated: May 16
As the world settles, reluctantly, into a protracted period of social isolation and lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, how can diversity and inclusion support people to work more effectively and build a virtual communities around work?
The Covid-19 is causing chaos around the world. Not only is it a public health emergency on a rapidly increasing global scale, but the impact it is having on workplaces and businesses across the globe is troubling.
As more and more businesses seek to stay afloat, and employees are sent home to work, diversity and inclusion should remain a key focus of the remote working agenda.
Remote Working - Diversity and Inclusion
How to Support Diversity and Be Inclusive
Staff are homeworking, but this does not mean that diversity and inclusion should fall off the agenda. It actually makes it more important for several reasons.
Those staff members who are not used to working from home, may begin to feel isolated.
During times of social disengagement, mental health becomes a key concern. The physical isolation from team members, becomes a concern, the longer staff teams work remotely.
Topics around Race and Gender may be removed from conversations and, as workers are not in the traditional workplace environment, people may think it does not matter.
Training around diversity and inclusion may be cancelled or reduced so the topic may be removed from the agenda altogether.
It is important to continue to value diversity and inclusion during these times. Your business could develop the following:
Chatroom for diversity discussion
Online 'How do I feel today?' Hub
Develop diversity and inclusion online portal
Implement online diversity and inclusion training that includes mental health
Explore ways of recruiting remotely and inclusively
There are several ways that diversity and inclusion specialists can help you to promote diversity and inclusion, during these rapidly changing and potentially isolating times.
E-Learning provision in diversity and inclusion helps to engage your staff teams and is highly scalable. It is designed to accommodate the needs of small business learning as well as global teams, where thousands of learners require access.
Keeping employees engaged, whilst supporting them to work together in an inclusive way, is a key outcome of diversity and inclusion.
Develop a bite-sized cultural expo, once a week, where employees talk about there cultural background during a virtual lunch period?
Have a members of your HR or Learning and Development team on-hand during working, and some non working hours, for staff to discuss any concerns around stress
Remember, we will be out of this situation, in time. What then, will be the consequences if we fail to keep diversity and inclusion on the agenda now?
Why Business Needs Inclusion
It is a well known fact that businesses that operate inclusively perform better, but how does that impact homeworkers?
As redundancies start to become a reality for many companies, businesses are seeking to support staff through homeworking measures.
Just because someone works from home doesn't mean that they are not part of the team! Now, the majority of workers are being designated as homeworkers, to keep businesses afloat during precarious economic times.
The message here is clear... diversity and inclusion must remain part of the business agenda. It is important to position business for future growth and also to enable learning and practice as part of the globally enforced homeworking regimen.
No-one knows for sure when the Covid-19 pandemic will start to dissipate. We must prepare our businesses for a protracted period of homeworking and build resilience in maintaining strong teams.
Mental health is a key concern. Managers will need to ensure that staff teams working remotely, have adequate information and tools to encourage behaviours to manage and promote mental well being, within teams.
This is difficult enough for all of us. Let's not make it more difficult by failing to consider the necessity for diversity and inclusion during this challenging time.
For more information around remote learning and the importance of diversity and inclusion, visit Kenroi Consulting.
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The blog post above is designed to support you to build inclusion into your homeworking agenda. Consider the tips and contact us for more information above how we can assist you with remote learning around diversity and inclusion.
Kenroi Consulting is a bespoke diversity consultancy providing tailor made solutions for businesses.
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