To varying degrees, people miss the in-person interactions of the office. Not to the extent that they want to return there full time. But many will return. And so companies are planning to bring their employees back into the office and give them the tools to collaborate while also allowing them to work from home. But in supporting this mix of on-site and remote teams working together, companies must overcome another hurdle: how to create a sense of workplace equity.
Employees expect their companies to provide the best technology that helps them work from anywhere. That was true for a considerable segment of the working population before the pandemic. It’s a view that’s more widely held now as millions of us of had to adapt to working from home. They also want to feel they are as much a part of a collaborative meeting as those in the same room.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the challenges that companies are facing as they look to implement a hybrid work model. Among those challenges: creating a flexible work experience while maintaining fairness for those who participate from outside the office meeting space. This is where technology and design play key roles.
People want the hybrid work model
Recent research shows that 2/3 of people support a hybrid work model. Our discussions with universities reveal a similar take: They want the learning experience to be the same for students connecting from their homes or dorms as it is for their peers in the classroom.
So the question is: Can we have a sense of belonging — and being seen as equals — without being in the office?
Challenges to creating an equitable meeting experience
One set of issues to address is the collaboration experience for remote participants. Questions we have to solve include:
- Can colleagues clearly see and hear remote participants?
- Can remote workers see and hear everyone else in the meeting?
- Are they able to contribute on the same level as those who may be gathered in a room?
A well-designed and implemented set of solutions can address these issues. It will also help mitigate negative perceptions by colleagues and superiors toward those not in the office. This matters because employees want to know they won’t be overlooked for promotions or left out of discussions when they work remotely.
Some common technology challenges related to remote work and equity include:
- Audio (can the in-room audience hear a question or comment from a remote attendee?)
- Whiteboards (are all participants able to contribute in the same manner?)
- Sharing video content that remote participants can see
You can overcome these issues if you have a skilled partner like AVI-SPL to help.
Work with AVI-SPL to create workplace equity
The hybrid work model will look different for different companies. But all organizations need to know how to ensure an equitable meeting experience across their in-office spaces and remote employees.
Connect with AVI-SPL to discuss your plans for ensuring workplace equity. Our collaboration experts would like to talk about your challenges so we can help solve them.