It is easier now more than ever for employees to work remotely, be it from their homes or someplace else. The access to technology that we have in today’s world makes it that much easier to have remote employees and even full-fledged remote teams.
It has in fact now become quite commonplace to have employees working from home. The global pandemic has only further necessitated it.
According to the IWG Workplace Survey, at least 69% of businesses in the US have established policies for flexible working. This includes when they work, and where they work from.
An avenue that benefits from having a remote work policy is the initiatives regarding diversity. By its virtue and nature, remote work automatically opens up the opportunity to actively foster inclusion and diversity.
Now diversity comes in its many forms – gender, race, geography, disability, age, and more. And almost every business in the US has drafted policies to encourage diversity in the workplace. But with the way we were working before – in a physical office space – presented some barriers to effectively carry out these diversity initiatives.
Remote work presents a fresh opportunity for businesses to reinvigorate their diversity initiatives and deliver on the policies they made regarding them.
Let’s face it, remote work is here to stay. Even long after the current pandemic scare passes. Everybody has realized the absolute positives that having a remote work policy brings.
The unexpected benefits of remote work
Organizations have suddenly come to recognize the benefits of having a work-from-home policy. Business leaders can see the improvement in the productivity of their employees and an uptick in their efficiency. Since all or a majority of the workforce is working from home, this reduces the cost of maintaining office space for many businesses. For small and medium businesses, this is a boon since they can rarely afford the huge burden of an office space but bear it due to the operational function it serves. Remote work changes that.
Employees too have experienced the benefits first hand, especially not having to waste hours commuting to and from work. I mean, I’m sure nobody misses the peak morning traffic and being stuck in long traffic jams every working day. Remote work also has given many a work-life balance which they were not able to maintain until now. They are able to make better use of their time, both in their professional lives and their personal ones.
In fact, many are now happy to never go back to working 9 to 5 in an office. They would much rather be at or find a job that lets them work from home than one that doesn’t.
Due to the time we are now living in, businesses have so far been in crisis management and fire fighting mode. Nobody could actually spare a thought on how they could take advantage of this and bolster their commitment to building a more diverse workplace. And for valid reasons, they couldn’t. But now, it’s time for a change.
Why remote work will encourage diversity
Think about it. When you hire for your business, you are normally looking for people available to work in the city that you set up an office in. And depending on where you are, it severely limits the scope of how much diversity you can bring into your workplace. No matter how hard you try.
Because until now, all recruitment was bound by geography. Potential candidates had to be living in the same city, or at least be willing to move if they had to stand a chance.
From the perspective of recruitment, the ability to hire remote employees is a gold mine of an opportunity. It is a complete game-changer in terms of how we will hire going forward.
With remote employees and remote work all the rage, the world is the oyster for businesses when it comes to hiring and building their teams. They can look to hire from a diverse candidate pool now. They can hire across countries and time zones, and get the best to work for them. How cool is that?
Imagine how much money small and medium businesses usually have to shell out to hire top talent if they were to do it the old way. Hiring remote employees not only lets businesses hire people from different cultures and backgrounds, but it also allows them to tap into the expertise of such employees.
Think about the unique perspective a remote employee will bring when they are from a different country. The world is a global village. It makes sense to employ these global villagers and benefit from everything they bring to the table.
Remote working helps in creating a more welcoming workplace environment for many employees. Not thinking of employing remote employees from a different country is honestly a fool’s error in this day and age. The advantages are many and the hindrances very few and negligible.
At this point, it is only logical that businesses fully explore how they can build a great business with a great diversity ethic. And this can be done by implementing a work from home policy, or rather a remote work policy that is diversity-focused.
Remote work gives you the chance to think about how you want to grow and position your business in a world that is clearly moving away from in-person to virtual offices.
Why inclusion matters now more than ever
This probably goes without saying, but most modern businesses care about having an inclusive workplace. And not just as some corporate policy, they genuinely do want a diverse workforce.
This is because modern business leaders understand the advantages that a diverse employee base will bring to their business. More skill, wider perspective, and expanded knowledge. This definitely translates into business benefit and revenue for any business that implements and fosters it.
When businesses do encourage hiring from a diverse candidate pool, it naturally attracts more and better talent. It’s a win-win for everyone. Now, who wouldn’t like that?