As more and more companies begin to plan for their employees' return to the office, it's important to consider the impact that this transition may have on different employees. In particular, employees with disabilities and those identifying as minorities may face unique challenges when returning to the office.
To help employers understand these challenges and develop inclusive return-to-office strategies, we spoke with Keith MacKenzie, Content Strategy Manager at Workable, and Fadjanie Cadet, an inclusion strategist. Here's what they had to say:
Employees with disabilities may face a range of challenges when returning to the office, including physical barriers, lack of accommodations, and limited access to technology. Employers should work with employees to identify and address these challenges, and ensure that the office is accessible to all employees.
Employees identifying as minorities may also face challenges when returning to the office, particularly if they have experienced bias or discrimination in the workplace. Employers should be aware of the impact of bias on these employees and take steps to address it, such as providing training on unconscious bias and promoting diversity and inclusion.
Offering flexible working arrangements can help to support employees with disabilities and those identifying as minorities. This could include options for remote work, flexible hours, and alternative work locations. Employers should work with employees to understand their needs and develop flexible arrangements that work for everyone.
Open communication is key to developing inclusive return-to-office strategies. Employers should encourage employees to share their concerns and feedback, and take steps to address any issues that are raised.
Returning to the office can be challenging for all employees, but it's important to be mindful of the specific challenges faced by employees with disabilities and those identifying as minorities. By developing inclusive return-to-office strategies, employers can help to ensure that all employees feel supported and valued during this transition.