Major transitions to the way organizations work over the last few years are undoubtedly here to stay. Individual employees and teams of all sizes have made the switch to flexible and hybrid work options while embracing technology that suits their communication and collaboration needs. From transitioning to effective communication and collaboration tools to implementing remote work guidelines, these large changes in the workplace have impacted infrastructure and company culture at companies around the world.

One area that has seen a great deal of discussion as well is equity in the workplace — and how the increasingly hybrid and flexible work environment affects equity and inclusivity. 

A focus on creating equitable workplaces has become a top priority for many organizations, which is unsurprising when research from McKinsey shows that a diverse employee population often results in companies that outperform others. Equitable work practices can be effective through a strong, business-led approach — often with the help of inclusive workplace technology.

Workplace equity and an inclusive work culture are completely achievable, even when your team is working in a hybrid manner. Ongoing support for equity and the adoption of technology, tools, and applications like the Meeting Owl camera and Owl Connect can help build a connected, inclusive workplace that focuses on providing all employees an equitable experience and encouraging employee engagement independent of work location.

What makes the workplace inclusive?

At its most basic, an inclusive workplace environment is one in which every employee can feel valued all while their differences can be acknowledged for the unique contributions that they bring to the organization. An inclusive workplace celebrates and acknowledges diversity while taking steps to provide equity and equal opportunities for each employee.

Inclusivity at work can be found in many aspects including in policy creation, the hiring process, and implementing a flexible work or hybrid work option. These factors all have a focus around embracing DEI which helps to foster high performance in the workplace while also displaying an organization's commitment to their values.

Leadership can have a far reaching impact on the development and longevity of inclusive workplace practices. Inclusive leaders, from the CEO to the head of IT, set the tone for ensuring that a workplace remains equitable and inclusive all around through behaviors such as cultural intelligence, effective collaboration, and visible commitment to the organization.

Creating an inclusive workplace isn’t achieved through one-off big gestures. They are created and maintained by continuous efforts like investment in ERGs, embracing technology that adapts to a variety of different working styles, and by keeping employees invested and engaged.

Examples of equity in the workplace

Equity is focused around leveling the playing field to make sure that all employees have what they need to do their jobs successfully. This means that equitable practices in the workplace can be found throughout an organization — from making sure that workspaces are available to adopting adaptable technology.

Workplace equity can start as early as the hiring process. Factors like accessible job descriptions that include pay transparency and take language that may alienate applicants into consideration and offering alternate application methods that aren’t wholly web-based are ways that an organization’s hiring process can be more equitable to potential employees.

Empowering current employees by providing resources that allow them to collaborate and work effectively is another key equitable practice.

Inclusive workplace technology, like the Meeting Owl and Owl Connect, can be utilized to connect employees no matter where they are located or the size of the team. This kind of technology affords teams the ability to be as collaborative as possible — with remote and in-room participation enhanced through features such as white noise suppression and high voice quality. This approach to an efficient workflow provides a host of different ways for team members to work together, furthering an inclusive work environment where resources are readily available for all.

See how Owl Labs' connected ecosystem can enhance hybrid workplaces +  classrooms >>

How technology supports workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion

Employee engagement is an integral part of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion, even as flexible and hybrid work remain a popular option for employees. Technology and diversity in the workplace can work hand-in-hand to provide engaging tools, resources, and support to all employees.

Technology such as remote collaboration tools, synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, and huddle rooms foster inclusivity at work by providing teams with much needed resources that allow them to work together. The Meeting Owl, for example, improves hybrid meetings with its proprietary intelligence system and 360 degree camera system that captures the faces of meeting participants, even as they get up and move around the space.

Equitable practices in the workplace are supported by technology by working in scalability and consistency in how teams can learn, communicate, and collaborate. Learning opportunities, training, mentorship, and even social engagement activities can be provided through inclusive workplace technology for a hybrid team. When it only takes seconds to get a hybrid meeting up and running, employees are more likely to connect with their remote teammates and create a workplace environment where everyone can participate and be heard.

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Why tech that adapts to us makes the workplace more equitable

Technology that adapts to us makes for an equitable workplace by serving as an adaptable tool to any organization’s needs. Each individual on a team will have unique needs that adaptable technology can help with  — the fully remote worker may work better in collaborative situations when they can easily see everyone in a meeting while a flexible employee might benefit from a digital whiteboard that allows them to brainstorm seamlessly with others.

For companies that have turned to hybrid and flexible work models, many of them choose the most adaptable tech options out there for this reason. Equity in the workplace is all about ensuring that your team has access to resources that give them the ability to work on a level playing field and adaptable technology can be key to creating equitability. If employees are new to the company, tech should be simple to learn and operate and not be a barrier to success. 

The Meeting Owl Pro is a center-of-table smart video conferencing camera with a 360-degree camera, an auto-tracking software that follows the speaker with 92% accuracy, and an 18’+ audio pickup radius, as analyzed in a report by Wainhouse Research. Speakers are tracked from a table top perspective which gives remote team members a far more engaging experience and automatic focus instinctively follows all employees involved in a call.

Adaptable technology like the Meeting Owl and Owl Connect help make the workplace more equitable by giving all employees access to the same resources that enhance their abilities and collaboration, from the five person startup to an established organization in the hundreds. In-person and remote employees can operate on equal footing with immersive cameras that can easily be paired together in a room for a seamless meeting experience.

To make sure you are choosing the right adaptable tech for you and your inclusive workplace, read more about best practices on adapting tech for your team.

Need flexibility? Meeting the Meeting Owl [Wainhouse Research eBook]