Could COVID Have a Silver Lining for Equity and Belonging in the Workplace?
The coronavirus pandemic is arguably one of the most intimidating things any of us have experienced in our lives. But when you examine its effect on how we interact and work, there might be some unexpected upsides to this uncertain time.
The silver lining
As Forbes points out, the need for social distancing over so many months has resulted in many of us working from home. For parents, this often means being interrupted by our kids during Zoom meetings or having to schedule work around our kids’ needs. And in the current situation, employers have no choice but to allow telecommuting and somewhat flexible schedules. Especially for women in the workforce, this is a positive development.
In addition, for those of us who interact with our co-workers via telemeetings, social distancing means getting a glimpse of what our team members’ home lives look like. When we see how others live, they become more relatable—and that contributes to more equity in the workplace.
We’re in this together
The pandemic has disrupted life as we know it and caused significant suffering, but there may also be a silver lining. Many of us have had a peek into each other’s lives. On top of that, we’ve shared a common, life-changing experience. Taken together, this makes us more relatable to one another. We are truly in this together—and hopefully, that will help us establish a more equal and equitable workplace where there’s room for everyone.