The remote and hybrid workplace is a great way to allow employees to work from home, but it can be challenging to ensure equality among team members. When team members are remote or work from different locations, it can be difficult to track their accomplishments and see what they are working on. This can lead to favoritism and career growth being blocked.
In this blog post, we will discuss the challenges of ensuring equality in the remote or hybrid workplace and provide some ideas on how to address these issues.
The benefits of a remote or hybrid workplace
Many businesses choose to go fully remote or use the hybrid workplace model due to the many benefits of these approaches. These include cost savings, improved productivity, and a greater sense of well-being among employees.
Hybrid workplaces and remote work offer:
- Improved productivity. Remote workers are often more productive, as they don't have to deal with the distractions that come with a typical office environment.
- Flexibility. Employees have the freedom to work from wherever they choose, as well as adjusting their schedules to fit their individual needs.
- Cost savings. Remote work and hybrid workspaces can save employers money on overhead costs, such as rent for an office space.
However, remote work and the hybrid work environment can also come with some challenges that need to be addressed in order to ensure equal opportunities for all team members.
Challenges of the hybrid workplace and remote work
When teams are remote or working in multiple locations, communication and smooth collaboration can be a challenge. Additionally, some people feel that remote work is a lonely experience, and would prefer the opportunities to build friendships that an office often offers. Finally it can be difficult to keep track of each team member's progress and accomplishments.
However, one major challenge with remote or hybrid work is the lack of visibility between team members. This can lead to favoritism and unequal opportunities for career development.
The impacts of remote or hybrid work on equality
When working in remote or hybrid environments, team members may not have the same visibility as those working in an office. It is easy to favor those team members whose accomplishments are the most obvious - the people who show up at the office, or those who most often contribute in the company chat. This can lead to some team members being overlooked for recognition of their efforts or career development opportunities.
As a result, some team members may feel stuck in their roles despite having the experience necessary for a promotion. This not only affects them negatively, it can also hurt the company. Dissatisfied team members may decide to change jobs, and even if they do not, the business does not benefit from their growing skills.
Additionally, a remote or hybrid work environment can lead to unequal access to resources and support. Those who are remote may not have the same level of access as their office-based colleagues, which can result in unfair outcomes.
Ensuring equality in a hybrid or remote workplace
It is essential for remote employers to take steps to ensure everyone feels part of the team and that everyone’s contributions are visible and appreciated. The key is visibility. Leaders need to create a culture of working transparently, allowing team members’ accomplishments to be visible and recognized.
Tips for creating an equitable workplace:
- Make sure everyone has access to the same resources, tools, and technology. All team members should have the same opportunities to be successful in their roles and career development.
- Set up clear expectations for remote work. With the remote or hybrid work model, it is important to make sure everyone understands what the expectations are for remote team members.
- Encourage collaboration and communication between remote and office-based employees. This can be done through virtual meetings, video conferencing, and other methods of remote communication.
- Track performance in a transparent way. Use a tool to track remote team members’ performance over time, so that managers will be able to base their performance reviews on data, and each team member will have an easy way to prove what they have accomplished.
- Provide regular feedback and recognition. It is important to provide remote employees with feedback on their work and recognize their accomplishments. It is a good way to keep the team motivated and productive.
- Clearly outline roles and expectations for each team member. This will ensure that everyone is held accountable for their contributions, and at the same time, it will give people the peace of mind resulting from understanding what is expected of them.
- Make sure that managers will be mindful of the unequal visibility of team members. Often, the best way counteract challenging conditions is to clearly communicate their implications to the team and allow them to self-regulate.
- Encourage team members to celebrate each others' successes. Not everybody is comfortable talking about their own successes, so it can be really helpful to build a company culture in which good work is openly appreciated. This way, with more people talking about it, a lack of visibility stops being a problem.
Offering opportunities for growth to all team members
The remote or hybrid workplace has many advantages, but leaders need to be aware of the potential issues that can arise and take steps to ensure everyone is treated in a fair and equitable way. With the right strategies and clear communication, remote or hybrid workplaces can be both successful and equitable.
Creating an equitable remote or hybrid workplace requires deliberate effort. However, with the right approach, it is possible to ensure that the remote and hybrid workplace models are equitable and free from favoritism. By taking the time to create a culture of transparency, tracking performance effectively, and providing feedback and recognition regularly, employers can ensure that all team members have equal opportunities for career growth.