Diversity and Inclusion is hot in the industry right now, with more companies trying to make their workplaces more inclusive and scout for a broader range of talent.
But D&I isn’t just about diversity schemes and statistics reports. It’s about the daily openness and welcomeness of your company for talent that have previously been overlooked.
If you’re experiencing a particular resistance to returning to work in the office you might want to consider some of the ways that your office culture is isolating some members of your staff.
MOST TEAM SOCIALISING CENTRES ALCOHOL
Now, we know that ‘going for a drink’ after work is distinctly British. In 2017, 80% of people in England were reported drinkers, but that 20% is still a massive chunk of your team.
If going to a bar or pub is the most frequent form of socialisation in your team then you may be isolating people of faith, teetotal people and those who have struggled with alcoholism and addiction.
MOST TEAM SOCIALISING CENTRES RESTRICTIVE FOODS
Eating is great, and no one is disputing this! Eating amongst friends and colleagues can be even more fun.
With increasing populations seeking alternative diets for health, lifestyle and cultural reasons it's important that when you are planning this year's Christmas party you’re considering somewhere that caters to vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and for those with allergies.
Bonus points: if the menu has several options, and not just one that the vegetarian has to eat.
WORK STARTS AT 9
We know it's conventional for work to start at 9 but in the 21st century we think exceptions can be made, or at least for some days in the week.
The intensity of a morning rush hour can mean your colleagues with disabilities who struggle in crowds can have a nightmare getting to work in the morning and can leave them feeling particularly drained for the first activities of the day. A later start, at least on some days, can really improve their overall work experience and performance.
A later start also means that team members with families can have the extra time to do the school run and get to work without feeling anxious about lateness and anxiety about not being able to spend enough time with their family.
PRONOUNS ARE NOT IN WORK SIGNATURES
Your team is undoubtedly growing fast, and you’re hiring talent from so many different backgrounds. With newer forms of gender expression emerging every single day, normalising having pronouns is a great way to avoid isolating team members from marginalised genders. This allows employees to be themselves, subtly express themselves and avoids conflict between colleagues who may misunderstand other colleagues’ gender identity.
Bonus points: it also makes your environment feel more safe for these marginalised genders as it is clear you respect them and support their gender expression.
COFFEE AND TEA ARE THE ONLY DRINKS YOU OFFER
One of the few positives about working in the office is the endless supply of tea and coffee that the staff kitchen should have. But if you are someone with allergies, dietary aversions or just don’t drink that stuff then this is an extra expense that you have that your colleagues don’t -- and taking part in kitchen conversations is a bit awkward for you.
Try and mix up what’s in your fridge a little bit, with juices and interesting soft drinks so that everyone can take part.