EP36 – What does the inclusive ‘return to office’ look like?

ABCDEI is back after a short spring break! 

This season, we want to really feed into some of what we’ve built through great discussions and feedback. And focus on “conversation in progress”. 

And this year, no conversations have been more active than the ones around the return to the office! People back in offices in some part, and we’re starting to see conversations around everything from whether the dress code changed now that we’ve seen everybody in pyjamas! Ie: Is the suit over? 

But more seriously… We spotlight an inclusion perspective on the subject. There is nuance in everything starting from how you invite people back into the office.

Do you make it a choice? 
Is it everybody that needs to come in? 
Is it the same rules across the board? 
What does it mean for people whose lives have changed since the pandemic? 

And then, once we are back in the office, how do we make sure that inclusion becomes part of the operations of the workplace, and not something that’s an afterthought or a sidebar consideration?

“I think the defining philosophy going forward is how companies are going to react to hybrid work for the long haul. Repeatedly, we’re seeing people put out these surveys, and how many times does it have to say 75% of the people would prefer flexible and remote arrangements before organizations will hear that feedback? It is about trusting your people to choose. Which is easier said than done.” – Susan Diaz 

“There is a little bit of a fear of going first because there’s a fear of getting it wrong or alienating or offending. It has to be less about the actions and more about the strategy. So if you think about inclusion or building an equitable workplace as the reasoning that drives your return to office protocol, then it’s less about how many times you ask people to come in and more about communicating the purpose – ie: how are we using our in-office time differently.” – Rohini Mukherji

Listen to the full discussion with Susan and Rohini for more ⏩

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