Inclusive or Isolated? New DEI Considerations When Working from Anywhere | Deloitte Insights

Workforce Trends

Remote work and “work from anywhere” continue to be popular topics for many organizations. While this flexible arrangement offers many advantages for organizations and workers, it presents new challenges and considerations for leaders. This article shares research on the impact of remote work on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Specifically, the researchers analyzed the remote work experiences of 3,301 professionals, examining seven key identity characteristics: gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, disability, income, caregiving status, and age. The paper highlights the emerging challenges faced by underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities (PwD), those with low income, caregivers, and older individuals. A few findings include: 1) Remote work and technology have created new opportunities for PwD, decreasing the unemployment rate for this group in the United States. However, compared to individuals without disabilities, PwD may experience heightened stress regarding career growth and progression. They report being twice as anxious about demonstrating their work contributions and accomplishments. 2) Low-income workers encounter additional challenges in setting up a suitable home office and accessing necessary resources for remote work. This issue poses obstacles to their productivity and engagement. 3) Caregivers face difficulties in balancing their work and caregiving responsibilities. They often experience microaggressions, feel the need to be “always on,” perceive constant surveillance, and feel pressured to conform to others’ behaviors. The article includes several other findings and provides actionable suggestions for overcoming these challenges and delivering an equitable remote work experience.