Today, it is easier than ever for employees to work remotely, be it from home or from another location. The access to technology that we have in today’s world makes it a lot easier to have remote workers and even full-fledged remote teams.
In fact, it is now taken for granted that employees work from home. The global pandemic has only made it demand more.
According to the IWG Workplace Survey, at least 69% of companies in the United States have policies in place for flexible working. This includes when they work and where they work from.
One way to benefit from a remote working policy is through diversity initiatives. Remote work naturally opens up the possibility of actively promoting inclusion and diversity.
Now there is diversity in its many forms – gender, race, geography, disability, age, and more. And almost every company in the US has policies in place to promote diversity in the workplace. But with the way we worked before – in a physical office – there have been some barriers to running these diversity initiatives effectively.
Remote working offers companies a new opportunity to reinvigorate their diversity initiatives and implement their policies on them.
Let’s face it, remote work is here to stay. Even long after the current fear of the pandemic is over. Everyone has recognized the absolute benefits of a remote working policy.
The unexpected benefits of working remotely
Companies suddenly saw the benefits of a home office policy. Business leaders can see an improvement in the productivity of their employees and an increase in their efficiency. With all or most of the workforce working from home, it reduces the cost of maintaining office space for many businesses. This is a blessing for small and medium-sized companies, as they can seldom afford the enormous burden of an office space, but they can bear it due to the operational function. Remote work changes that.
Employees have also experienced the benefits firsthand, particularly not having to waste hours commuting to and from work. I mean, I’m sure that no one will miss the morning rush hour and get stuck in long traffic jams every working day. Remote work has also given many a work-life balance that they have not been able to maintain before. You can make better use of your time, both professionally and privately.
In fact, many are now happy never to work in an office from 9 to 5 again. They would much rather be in or find a job that they can work from than one that doesn’t.
Due to the time we are living in now, companies have been in crisis management and fire fighting mode so far. Nobody really got to think about how to use this and increase their commitment to building a more diverse workplace. And for good reasons they couldn’t. But now it’s time for a change.
Why remote work promotes diversity
Think about it. When hiring for your company, you usually look for people who are available in the city where you are opening an office. And depending on where you are, this severely limits the amount of diversity you can bring into your workplace. No matter how hard you try.
Because so far, the entire recruitment was tied to geography. Potential candidates had to live in the same city or at least be willing to move if they had a chance.
From a recruiting perspective, the ability to hire remote workers is a bonanza for an opportunity. It’s a complete game changer in terms of future employee hiring.
With remote workers and remote working on everyone’s lips, the world is the oyster for companies when it comes to hiring and building their teams. You can now search for employees from a diverse pool of candidates. You can make settings across countries and time zones and get the most out of yourself. How cool is that
Imagine how much money small and medium-sized businesses would typically have to spend hiring top talent if they were doing it the old way. By hiring remote workers, companies can not only hire people from different cultures and backgrounds, but also draw on the expertise of these employees.
Think of the unique perspective a remote worker brings when coming from another country. The world is a global village. It makes sense to keep these global villagers busy and take advantage of whatever they bring with them.
Remote working helps create a more welcoming work environment for many employees. Honestly, not thinking about hiring remote workers from another country is a silly mistake these days. The advantages are many and the obstacles are very few and negligible.
At this point, it makes sense for companies to fully explore how to build a great company with a great diversity ethic. And this can be done by implementing a home office policy, or rather a diversity-oriented remote work policy.
Working remotely gives you the opportunity to think about how you want to grow and position your business in a world that is clearly moving from personal to virtual offices.
Why inclusion is more important today than ever
This is likely to go without saying, but most modern businesses value an inclusive workplace. And not just like in any corporate policy, they really want a diverse workforce.
This is because modern leaders understand the benefits of having a diverse workforce base for their business. More skill, broader perspective and expanded knowledge. This definitely translates into business value and revenue for any company that implements and promotes it.
When companies encourage recruitment from a diverse pool of candidates, it naturally attracts more and better talent. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Well who wouldn’t like that?