Why offer flexible working to employees?
An increase in the number of available roles that offer flexible working has risen significantly in recent years, providing significant benefits to many. Flexible work arrangements have enabled more people from diverse cultures and situations to thrive within the workforce no matter their location or circumstance. This, in turn, can aid business growth, boost employee wellbeing and enable you to work with many more individuals from a far wider pool of demographics.
Here are some top tips on how your organisation can provide flexible working, and what it needs to do to do it well:
Access the global talent pool
Alongside your organisation’s existing DEI initiatives, embracing the concept of flexible and remote working allow you to tap into a global talent pool. You can employ individuals from different backgrounds, genders, cultures, abilities, and locations.
When you hire individuals from different backgrounds, you can gain various perspectives and experiences, allowing you to introduce innovative solutions and make informed decisions.
Provide digital resources to support all staff
Providing digital resources for team members enables all staff to have equal access to resources to support them, regardless of their location or circumstances.
Offering easy access to career development, training, mentoring, sponsorship, DEI resources, and hands-on support will very much help you to stand out as employers. This will also help you to level out the playing field in the workplace, allowing you to address any disparity in career development and advancement.
Foster a sense of belonging
We recommend that you aim to foster a work culture that lets everyone feel a sense of belonging. For example, communicate regularly with your teams and create opportunities for everyone to share their experiences and ideas. Through the use of online noticeboards and collaboration software, it is now possible to stay connected to team members wherever they may be, and whenever they are working, so you are always up to date and never out of touch.
Re-examine your flexible work policies
Even if you already have a flexible working policy in place, it is wise to revisit it. You can develop flexible work policies that can accommodate your workforce’s diverse needs. For example, you can have employees choose their work schedule, or allow devices such as Mobility2You in their workspace.
Remember that one size doesn’t fit all, so tailor your policies according to their need.
Make channels accessible
Many work tools aren’t as inclusive as they should be, so it is important to make sure that they tools you offer to your remote workforce are as accessible as possible.
We recommend investing in technology and training that makes their work more streamlined and accessible, whichever platforms they may be using.
Educate your teams
Let’s face it: not everyone is fully in the know when it comes to DEI. This is why it is essential to educate your remote teams so that they understand that diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of your organisation’s work culture and values.
We recommend investing in DEI training and programs to raise their awareness regarding DEI issues.Through education efforts, you can promote a more inclusive virtual workspace.
Stay in regular contact with remote employees
Community is everything. It is essential to maintain open lines of communication with your team members, whever they may be. You may consider establishing a buddy scheme, setting up Employee Resource Groups and establishing a mentoring scheme to prevent them from ever feeling siloed.
This way, you can foster a sense of connection between your team, and make them feel valued and heard.
Employees feel motivated when they are truly supported and recognised for who they are and everything that they bring to your organisation.
So, take the time to appreciate their unique contributions, but also their cultural holidays and observances and create opportunities for them to share about their culture to your team!
Collaborating with people that are different from you needn’t make anyone feel afraid or constricted. After all, the more brains and the more diversity your team has, the more innovative your solutions can be!
We hope these tips help you to create an inclusive workplace which can support your team members’ needs and celebrate everyone’s diversity.
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