Working From Home Poses Hurdles for Employees of Color |The New York Times

Workforce Trends

Throughout the pandemic, I have made several posts about the impact that Work From Home (WFH) at scale has had on the workforce. And while some of this impact has been for the better (e.g., reduced commute time, greater flexibility, etc.), it has also created challenges, particularly for specific workforce segments. Such segments include working parents, working moms, caretakers, those who prefer in-person/social interactions, and workers whose WFH environments are not conducive to productivity, to name a few. Another segment of the workforce that WFH has impacted is employees of color. This article notes that “with fewer connections and less extensive networks than white colleagues to begin with, Black and Hispanic workers can find themselves more isolated than ever in a world of Zoom calls and virtual forums.” Without the networks and encounters that offices provide, ” the unmanaged outcome is more isolation, less advancement, more job losses, and a real retrenchment in the progress around diversity and inclusion.” Exacerbating this issue is that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, 27 percent of companies put diversity and inclusion efforts on hold, according to a survey by the Institute for Corporate Productivity. With many organizations not expected to ask employees to return to their pre-pandemic workplaces before 2021, WFH implications for people of color have become an increasingly urgent topic for HR leaders and diversity officers. Other ideas are discussed.

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