How to Promote Inclusivity in Your Workplace
An office should be a place where staff feel comfortable, productive, and above all else, happy.
A major aspect of this is ensuring your office is inclusive to everyone who would like to enter.
Just like no business is the same, neither is any employee, and you must ensure that you are providing every worker with everything they need to enjoy heading to the office for a day’s work.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you how to do just that, so let’s take a look.
What Does Office Inclusivity Mean?
Inclusivity is a term that has plenty of different layers when it comes to office space.
It is more than just the design of the building, but also includes how the company operates, and the policies that are implemented throughout the workplace.
Respect and support are the cornerstones of ensuring you are making a space open to all workers, and here are some important factors of this:
- Promoting Equal Opportunities – A key part of inclusivity is not judging anyone on their background, appearance, beliefs, or any other factor apart from their work. Everyone should have an equal chance to make the most of their career and progress, and no biases or discrimination should ever hold them back.
- Accessibility – This applies to the physical aspect of actually getting into the office and finding a comfortable place to work. Some factors that can help with this are adding disabled parking spaces close to the entrance to the building, providing ramps to help access for people with wheelchairs, as well as lifts, WC’s and ergonomic furniture.
- Focusing on Individual Needs – Your workspace must acknowledge that not all people think and work in the same way. You must accommodate these differences throughout your workspace, offering safe and comfortable spaces for all. This could be something like offering flexible working arrangements, creating spaces that are safe and quiet, and promoting well-being throughout.
These are just a small aspect of creating an inclusive office, and you should always perform a full assessment of your staff and their needs to ensure you always find the perfect space for you.
Why is Inclusivity Important?
Inclusivity in an office space is crucial because it fosters a sense of belonging, promotes equal opportunities, and enhances productivity.
By creating an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and included, businesses can make sure they harness the diverse talents of their workforce.
Inclusive spaces encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation by embracing different ideas and experiences from a wide range of employees. Moreover, inclusivity supports employee well-being, reduces turnover, and attracts top talent.
By prioritizing inclusivity, organizations not only cultivate a positive workplace culture but also drive sustainable growth and success in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
There are many different reasons inclusivity is important, and here are two examples.
It is vital that you don’t make your workplace inaccessible to anyone because of a disability.
You must ensure that everyone can make their way into the office and find a place to work where they are comfortable, regardless of their physical condition.
Compliance with the Equality Act 2010 is essential for all workplaces, and this covers access to buildings and more for disabled workers.
A neurodivergent person is someone whose brain behaves differently from what may be considered ‘typical’.
These workers may need certain features in an office to really make them comfortable, including quiet spaces where they can really focus, flexible hours, and more.
Neurodivergent workers have the potential to be incredibly gifted and talented and can be a real asset to any business, so you must cater to them as part of your team.
5 Office Features to Promote Inclusivity
If you can add features to the structure of your office that aid inclusivity, this is a great place to start.
We have mentioned some of these throughout the blog already, but they are such vital features that they merit another mention.
You must think of wheelchair ramps, accessible parking spaces, elevators, disabled bathrooms, and much more.
You must also consider the width of your walkways and doors, as well as ensure your desks are the right size so that they can be used by everyone.
All these factors require careful consideration and its important to spend time doing so.
For many neurodivergent workers, the sensory overload that an office can be is often overwhelming.
When someone needs a break from the hustle and bustle of the office space, having an area that is quiet and peaceful (a soundproof room is ideal for this) is a big plus.
Being able to get away from things and find a bit of peace, even if just for a few minutes, can make a big difference to a working day.
Another sense that must be considered is sight, and if some of your workers have a visual impairment, make sure all places are well-lit and signage is clear so it is easy to get around the office.
It’s always a great idea to incorporate various types of workspaces throughout your office to cater to people with different working habits and preferences.
For example, some employees like to get their heads down and really focus on the job at hand with minimal distractions, whereas others may prefer a collaborative approach and a louder environment.
For both workers, being in the wrong environment could cause issues and lead to workplace anxiety, so if you can provide options for both, this is a big plus.
While on the topic of flexibility, if you have a workplace that can be altered, such as adjustable furniture, this can make it much easier to accommodate disabled employees and guests.
Some employees may benefit from movement breaks and other time away from the desk, so try and make sure these are available. Things like pool tables are a great way for employees to get away from their desk for a few minutes. Encouraging people to get outside for a walk is also really beneficial.
There is some great technology available that can provide a real boost for disabled and neurodivergent employees.
The first thing to consider here is that all of your current technology is accessible to anyone trying to use it. This includes using tools like screen readers, speech recognition software, alternative input devices, and more.
By adopting these, people who may be impaired physically should still be able to benefit from the various devices throughout the office.
Once you have the right technology in place, make sure you provide the training and support to all employees so that it can be used effectively and without any issues.
Your workplace policies have a massive influence on the environment and inclusivity of an office.
Any progressive business should have established policies that address diversity, equal opportunities, and never discriminate against certain individuals.
This also includes creating a comfortable atmosphere where your workers feel free to come to you with any issues or problems they are encountering.
A culture of open communication means your staff can talk to you freely and helps to address problems quickly.
It’s always a good choice to promote diversity and inclusion training programs to raise awareness and foster a more inclusive mindset among staff members.
London Office Space from One One One
Having an inclusive workplace is vital to ensuring your staff are always comfortable and feeling welcome.
Here at One One One, we have access to a huge range of office space in London and can help you find the perfect space for you and your staff.
Want to know more? Then get in touch with our team today.