Jul 22nd 2021
In talks with Ledgy: 4 ways hybrid working supports your diversity and inclusion efforts
The COVID pandemic led to millions of people shifting to 100% remote working in 2020. This past year has brought countless new discoveries and realisations to how we work. This is reflected in the continuous evolving of people’s attitudes to remote work and hybrid working. A study done by PWC found that 83% of employers felt the shift to having remote work was a success, with 52% of them reporting employees as more productive than before the pandemic.
But this rise in productivity is not the only unexpected benefit to come from the remote working option. Companies are also beginning to recognise that it could make it easier to attract and hire underrepresented talent, helping them in their diversity and inclusion strategy. This is why, as we begin to come out the other side of this pandemic, many businesses are turning their attention to hybrid working.
We sat down and spoke to Tamas Varkonyi, People and Operations Manager at Ledgy, the equity management platform, to discuss this new model. So as you start to think about how you will approach the way of working for your business, here are a few reasons why adopting a hybrid workforce model, in the long run, could support your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Benefits of hybrid working for diversity and inclusion
Removes geographical barriers
No longer do companies have to focus their hiring efforts on people who live close to the office. Hybrid working helps to break down these barriers and allows talent acquisition to cast a wider net – bringing in people from underrepresented communities who can’t afford to travel or live close to the office. This greatly enhances the diversity within your business and creates a more inclusive workplace culture. Tamas Varkonyi, People and Operations Manager at Ledgy, highlights how hybrid working has the advantage of allowing recruitment to have a more global reach.
“Current and future employees can come from and live in completely different situations every day. By not restricting the location of work to expensive cities, you open up to people from less privileged backgrounds.”
Creates psychological safety for LGBTQ+
In the physical workplace, LGBTQ+ employees can face daily hurdles that their colleagues rarely experience. A report found that 46% of LGBTQ+ workers say they are closeted at work and 31% felt unhappy or depressed.
This is where offering a hybrid working model that allows people to choose to work from the office or from home can step in and relieve these issues. A person’s home offers psychological safety where employees no longer feel stress about things like which bathroom they should use.
Increases gender diversity
Women in our society shoulder the majority of the family care responsibilities, and this is particularly difficult where people cannot afford childcare. It is much easier to balance family and work responsibilities when time spent commuting and a rigid schedule are removed.
According to the Fawcett Society report, “Post-pandemic, we need to move to a new normal which allows workers to adopt a hybrid model of home and workplace flexibility as well as flexing their working hours”.
Ledgy highlights how they have seen more women applying for roles we advertise as remote or flexible working. Hybrid working, therefore, opens the doors to becoming more accessible for women, and therefore increasing the gender diversity within your company.
Inclusive of everyone’s personal lives
Everyone’s personal lives are different, with their own commitments and personal stresses. By offering the option of flexibility through hybrid working, you take this into consideration and create an inclusive atmosphere. This helps you to foster an environment that supports people from lower socio-economic backgrounds who have outside of work pressures. They will feel understood and included, therefore increasing diversity and inclusion within your workplace.
“At Ledgy, we want to create a dynamic work environment that empowers people to make the choices that are best for them and leaves plenty of space for personal responsibilities.”
When it comes to encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace, adopting a hybrid working approach beyond the pandemic is not a solution on its own. You still need to establish an effective strategy to address underlying biases, stamp out discrimination, and promote inclusivity. It will take multiple initiatives to create a culture where people from all walks of life can feel a true sense of belonging.
However, as a tool at your disposal, hybrid work can be a powerful way to attract, support, and retain great talent from all backgrounds. It is a great way to break down the barriers that underrepresented employees regularly face, and offer them a flexible work environment where they can feel happy and work to their best potential.
For more on diversity, why not check out our diversity and inclusion hub where we offer resources such as tips to hiring and attracting diverse talent.