Ask Catalyst Express: Inclusive Hybrid WorkplacesMay 26, 2021
Many organizations have seen the benefits—for their business outcomes and in support of their employees—of creating more flexible and remote workplaces. Catalyst research finds that workers with access to remote work report increased innovation, engagement, and commitment to their organizations and decreased levels of burnout and intent to leave their jobs. In fact, many workers who have had access to flexible and remote work during Covid-19 report that they would like to continue working in similar ways. Access to flexible and remote work is especially important for working parents affected by school and childcare closures.
Become fully flexible.
“Fully flexible” means redesigning the workplace and workday for broad flexibility around when, where, and how work gets done.
Build a remote-first culture.
“Remote first” means that even if people are required or choose to be onsite, the default is remote work, such that policies and practices reflect this expectation, and everyone behaves as if they were working remotely to include their colleagues working from different locations or schedules.
Be open to hybrid work—a flexible combination of remote and onsite work.
However, organizations must be careful not to create two tiers of workers, giving career advantages to those team members who want or need to be onsite more frequently. The environment must be inclusive to ensure that women, particularly women of color, are not left behind. Combining the hybrid and remote-first approaches ensures that hybrid working doesn’t become the worst of both worlds, with unequal access to opportunities, creating disparate employee experiences and fatigue from “always on” synchronous communication.
There is no one-size-fits-all path forward. Some organizations will move closer to an all-remote model, with full work-from-anywhere geographic and schedule flexibility, while others will favor a more hybrid approach. Regardless of what model organizations implement, inclusive hybrid workplaces must be built purposefully to ensure equal access to opportunity, the benefits of flex and remote working, and addressing life/work needs.
These Catalyst resources may help guide you on your journey.
CATALYST RESOURCES ON INCLUSIVE HYBRID WORK
- Barilla: An Italian Family-Owned Company’s Journey to Global Inclusion (Case Study) 2021 Catalyst Award Winner Supporter-Exclusive
Organizations with essential or frontline workers often struggle to bring more flexibility to their onsite workers. Barilla’s 2021 Catalyst Award-Winning Initiative discusses one of their programs to make flexible work available to all employees and addresses inclusive hybrid flexible work now and into the future: Smartworking.
- 4 Case Studies on Flexible Work Policies and Cultures Supporter-Exclusive
For many organizations, working flexibly is no longer a bonus—it’s a business imperative. During the coronavirus pandemic, many managers and employees faced personal challenges even while they found themselves working from home for the first time. At Catalyst, we know from research and experience that flexibility with when, where, and how work gets done is integral to inclusive leadership and work cultures. We’ve developed case studies for Supporters to enable them to implement leading practices for flex work.
- How We Lead With Inclusion Through Crisis: Covid-19 Response Stories From Catalyst Supporters Supporter-Exclusive
Catalyst Supporters shared their stories of how they have reimagined the future of work, leading with inclusion through crisis, tackling inequities, connecting with empathy, developing trust on teams, and working remotely and flexibly to successfully navigate these unprecedented times.
- Remote Work Options Can Boost Productivity and Curb Burnout
- The Impact of Covid-19 on Working Parents
- The Impact of Covid-19 on Workplace Inclusion
- Covid-19: Women, Equity, and Inclusion in the Future of Work
- Covid-19 and Beyond: Don’t Lose Progress on Gender Equity During a Crisis Supporter-Exclusive
This product is designed to help organizations focus on the systems and actions they need to implement now so they can come back as stronger and more equitable and put themselves in the best position to keep equity during the next crisis, which is certain to come. Highlights include information on programs that build and keep connections, being agile and best support your team, using metrics to accelerate equity, and strengthening your culture and teams.
- Enhancing Inclusive Employee Experiences: Scenario Planning for the Future of Work Supporter-Exclusive
In a post-pandemic economy, the employee experience is more important than ever before for organizational success. This experience must be rooted in empathy and inclusion to attract and retain women across multiple intersecting identities and experiences. Catalyst analyzed four different scenarios of the future of work to better understand shifts related to Covid-19 and illustrate examples of policies and practices to move your organization toward a more inclusive and equitable post-pandemic workplace.
- Managing Your Remote Team Inclusively
Catalyst is making this content, normally Supporter-exclusive, available to all audiences as a public service.
- Running More Inclusive Meetings Supporter-Exclusive
- Beyond Remote: Flexibility is Key Supporter-Exclusive
Ask Catalyst Express and Quick Takes
- Ask Catalyst Express: Flexible Work Arrangements
- Quick Take: Working Parents
- Quick Take: The Detrimental Impact of Covid-19 on Gender and Racial Equality
- 4 Predictions on Where Workplaces are Heading in 2021
- Is Remote Work Overrated?
- This Expert is Optimistic About the Post-Covid Workplace. Here’s Why.
OTHER RESOURCES ON INCLUSIVE HYBRID WORK
- Hybrid-Remote: Understanding Nuances and Pitfalls GitLab
- For organizations looking to adopt all-remote or remote-first culture in a hybrid workplace, check out GitLab’s Guide to All-Remote handbook for myriad tips and tools by their first Head of Remote, including this piece specifically on asynchronous communication to manage interruptions and meeting fatigue.
- Virtual First Toolkit Dropbox
- Hybrid Rules: The Emerging Playbook for Flexible Work FutureForum by Slack
- How Unilever Embraced Risk to Cultivate a Remote Workforce – And Cleaner Hands Microsoft Transform Blog
- Unilever is a 2020 Catalyst Award Winner. In addition to their Catalyst Award- Winning practice addressing flexibility, they quickly expanded remote work for their office-based employees during the pandemic and implemented emerging technologies to protect their frontline workers with options to work from home.
- What Psychological Safety Looks Like in a Hybrid Workplace HBR
- 5 Tips to Optimize the Success of Your Hybrid Return-to-Office Plan Forbes
- The 2021 State of Remote Work Buffer
- The Philosophy and Practice of Our Hybrid Workplace Microsoft
- What to Consider When Moving to a Hybrid Work Model SHRM
- Making the Hybrid Workplace Fair HBR
- What is Your Company’s Long-Term Remote Work Strategy? HBR
- Our Work-From-Anywhere Future: Best Practices for All-Remote Organizations HBR
- How to Be Remote-First When You Still Have an Office Doist
- Guide to Working Remotely Zapier
- The New Silicon Valley Perks: Childcare, Financial Planning, and Therapy Wall Street Journal
- How to Do Hybrid Right HBR
- GM’s New Remote Work Plan for Employees is Ambiguous, Yet Surprisingly Simple: ‘Work Appropriately’ CNBC
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