Creating an Inclusive Return to Work Strategy for All

“Requests for disability-related remote work jumped 2.5 times to 510 in the year to June 30 from the prior fiscal year.”

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Let’s face it: there is no singular “right” way to develop a return to work plan. However, as companies create theirs’, they need to make sure to consider the voices of all groups of employees.

“Requests for disability-related remote work jumped 2.5 times to 510 in the year to June 30 from the prior fiscal year.”

Widespread use of hybrid and virtual work models during the pandemic have brought renewed attention to disabled workers’ unique situations. Emerging conflicts between education administrators and disabled professors may be a sign of what’s to come in large corporations’ return to work strategies. Offering remote work options often leads to increased inclusion of employees with disabilities. This applies not just in universities but also in corporations and has put immense pressure on companies to make decisions about future work requirements.

In addition to disabled workers, organizations’ return to work strategies will severely affect many other groups. Employees with children, long commute times, and many other hurdles have benefitted from the shift to remote work during the past year. Many industries will ultimately have to return to more in-person work. However, these companies must consider the many benefits seen from flexible work structures. How will a return to in-person work directly affect workers adjusted to remote work? If your company is requiring a return to in-person work, what accommodations should you be offering? What accommodations can you realistically provide today? How are you ensuring that these offerings are available to the people who need them most?

Some organizations have a dire need to return to in-person work while others may be able to retain flexible options that were implemented during the pandemic. Regardless of what decision is made, all work models and strategies will impact companies’ employees in some way. Consequently, leaders must keep their companies’ DEI strategy in mind when making the call. This requires a flexible, cross-functional DEI strategy that is consistently used to make decisions, one of ideascape’s areas of expertise. Whether your company is still discussing options or fully committed to implementing a strategy, we can help ensure success and your employee’s wellbeing. Contact Jonathan Dyke and Deon Gaines to learn more.

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