What does your return-to-office strategy have to do with DE&I? | Fierce


Hello, everyone, I just read an eye-opening article on the Harvard Business Review that makes the case for taking into consideration, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as part of your return-to-office strategy. This is interesting because last week we discussed the generational differences impacting return to office and how to address them. This article also aligns well with a Forbes article I wrote on the topic around what leadership adjustments need to be made in remote environments. And basically, it all comes down to providing training for leaders and the tools that they need to focus on results and not facetime. The punchline is that 81% of working people of color, prefer a hybrid blend of in-office and remote work going forward. This is a 20 point difference from non-people-of-color. Digging in deeper, the data shows that in remote environments contrasted with pre-COVID, people of colors’ experience scores shot up. Two of the highlights from the study were a sense of belonging increased 24% and perception of feeling fairly treated moved up 21%. The Article stipulates that behind all this is that employees have been able to focus on results and doing great work versus having to focus on informal influencing events such as social networking, and happy hours. Lastly, it’s important to recognize if given a choice of how to work with flexible options, the survey results show a preferential difference between people of color and non-people of color. And it’s critical then to be aware of proximity bias, whereby those who advance are or seen favorably, or those who are physically in the office around leadership and other decision-makers. Here at Fierce, since before the pandemic, we have had work remote policies, flexible work schedules, and unlimited PTO, and now we’re fully remote. For me as a CEO, this is more than a recruiting device. It’s a philosophy, whereby we value results over face time and butts in seats. We have built for ourselves and our clients, a culture of accountability and the space to have feedback and other interactions that focus on and drive results whether it’s in person, remote, or hybrid. We feel strongly that in driving toward your desired results, it shouldn’t matter. And regardless of what decision you choose, what direction you choose, I strongly encourage taking these factors into consideration and remember, the conversation is the relationship.

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