Coronavirus: A Watershed for Workplace Diversity?

Written by Kieran

7th May 2020

It is unlawful to discriminate against employees because of a disability. Despite this, employment rates of people with disabilities remain consistently lower than those of the non-disabled. A staggering 30% lower.

Covid-19 could prove to be the watershed moment for people with disabilities. The global pandemic has presented the world with a glimpse of the future world of work. A future where everyone is free to live and work wherever they want, in which work is defined by the outcomes you deliver, not hours spent in an office, and barriers for those with disabilities can be removed.

Covid-19 has affected an overnight step-change to how we work. Most of us are now suddenly working from home. Most of us are now using technology to facilitate this – to stay connected, to meet and be social. By extension – most of us now see it is possible to run a business successfully this way. 

Many companies resistant to remote working are now shifting their thinking and in turn, opening up the opportunity to a more inclusive future. They now understand that:

  • Remote working can work.
  • It offers significant benefits in productivity and reduced costs.
  • Their talent pool is wider
  • The technology exists today to facilitate this workplace transformation.

A UK survey revealed 67% of disabled workers who asked their employer to make reasonable adjustments in their workplace had all or some requests rejected. Despite this being a statutory requirement. Contrast this with a Global Management Consultancy study in 2018 – it found where companies embraced disability inclusion and practices, they were 4X more likely to witness higher total shareholder returns.

What happens next?

A global pandemic has shown us the value of our families, the NHS and many of the simple things life offers. Perhaps it has also shown us that working remotely is possible on a grand scale. And in so doing, it has revealed an opportunity for enterprise organisations to become ‘truly diverse and accessible’ organisations.

If you don’t want to be left behind, you need to take action now. With proven expertise in delivering remote workplace transformations allied with our unique personal approach, we can enable you to move from reacting to COVID19 to thriving in a new remote first world. Speak to one of our experts and find out how Sei Mani can transform your workplace today.

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