Feelings of inclusion and diversity have improved in the age of hybrid working, according to an MIT Sloan Management Review and Webex by Cisco study.
At least 56% of Gen Z, 52% of Gen Y, 45% of Gen X and 35% of Baby Boomers say diversity and inclusion has improved with the advent of remote work models and hybrids, according to the global study of 1,561 respondents from a variety of industries and spread across 12 countries.
Respondents noted that the ability to freely express personal opinions has improved significantly in various parts of the world, even in the most rigid societies.
At least 44% of respondents from North America and Europe believe that the ability to express personal opinions has increased. In India, 50% say so. In South America, 53% say the ability to speak their mind has improved.
According to the study, remote work does not destroy companies or their cultures. However, employee opinion on remote work, compensation and benefits is still aligned with patterns in the office.
Over 60% of respondents agree to a ‘significant’ or ‘considerable’ extent that their organizations need most employees to work on-site to maintain the corporate culture.
However, only a tiny percentage of respondents, often less than 5%, say remote or hybrid working has a negative effect on company cultures.
The report notes that business leaders are trying harder to avoid pitfalls that can hurt or undermine morale. Being fair in allocating desirable projects is one example, and business leaders are rising to the occasion. About 75% of respondents “strongly agree” or “agree” that their managers intentionally assign key tasks to everyone, rather than a select few.
Senior executives’ ability to connect with employees more easily than ever has allowed company values and culture to remain strong in the remote work environment, contrary to popular belief, according to the study.
Nearly 50% of respondents believe that the alignment of company practices with values has improved (rather than staying the same or declining). The percentages among remote and hybrid workers are also high, indicating that hybrid work models are not weakening this fundamental aspect of company culture.
Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM, Cisco Security and Collaboration states, in a blog post, “The [companies] who don’t evolve their technology and culture won’t be able to attract top talent — or customers. And leaders who can’t manage highly diverse and distributed teams with empathy and open communication won’t advance.
This article originally appeared on the website of CE Pro’s sister publication, MyTechDecisions.