Workplaces in the current hybrid environment have become more and more diverse. Now more than ever, it is beneficial to have a wide variety of perspectives on your team that contribute to the organization. Individuals from different social and ethnic backgrounds, gender groups, and levels of ability all have something valuable to bring to the table.
According to the Blueprint for Inclusive Workplaces of the Future released by Steelcase and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), business interiors that are designed with representation and diversity across all functions and levels are essential to creating an inclusive work environment.
What Does an Inclusive Workplace Look Like?
As defined by the Society for Human Resource Management, inclusion in a workplace is “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.” This notion can be interpreted in many ways, and there is by no means a one size fits all solution to creating a work environment that prioritizes diversity and inclusivity. However, there are a few general concepts to keep in mind when incorporating inclusion programs into your organization:
- Safety is of the utmost importance. This includes physical safety, of course, providing touchless technology to prevent the spread of germs or the addition of distancing measures to keep employees apart in the office. But safety should span beyond physical to also include regular check-ins and support to ensure employees have the freedom to express their individual identities without fear or concern.
- Flexibility is another crucial element to consider in an inclusive workplace. Maintaining a tolerance for error will minimize the consequences of mistakes or unintentional actions and encourage employee learning and adaptation.
- Creating a work environment that is simple and intuitive for all employees is key in integrating inclusivity into business interiors. Installing easy-to-use audiovisual technology and offering employees personalized furniture options can lead to increased employee satisfaction, innovation, and productivity for individuals and teams.
Office Essentials for Creating an Inclusive Workplace
Finding ways to create an inclusive workplace can be effortless with the help of an office furniture company. When designing office spaces with diversity and inclusivity at the forefront, there are three main essentials to consider:
- Office Design: One essential for inclusive business interiors is intentional office design. Incorporating construction solutions such as the Orangebox On the QT Pod is important for individuals who require access to a private quiet space in the office to help them remain focused. The Steelcase Flex Collection is another excellent choice due to its ability to be rearranged at any time based on employee needs and activities. By having the option to easily reposition any furniture at a moment’s notice, obstacles that may otherwise be in the line of travel for those in wheelchairs or other assistive devices can be eliminated.
- Office Furniture: In addition to the overall design of the space, office furniture that offers a variety of applications such as the Series Bench by Steelcase, allows for collaboration among employees while also accommodating individual workstyles and mobility needs. Choose intuitive options such as the SILQ chair by Steelcase for those who are less tech-savvy and need a more simplified personalization experience.
- Audiovisual Technology: Audiovisual technology can also promote inclusivity in a workplace. Products such as noise-canceling headphones offer a solution for employees on the autism spectrum or those who have other developmental disabilities who may need help reducing unwanted stimuli. Additionally, the Crestron Flex – BYOD Solution is an all-in-one collaboration system that makes presenting easy for employees in wheelchairs or other assistive devices.
POI Offers Expert Business Interiors Solutions
Reducing barriers and encouraging diversity amongst employees are just some of the ways organizations can create an inclusive workplace. If your company is searching for ways to improve inclusion in the office, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at POI today.