Could the pandemic create a natural experiment in increasing team diversity?
The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way many of us work, catapulting millions into less than ideal remote working. Perhaps one silver lining is that research shows that remote teams are more supportive to diversity. Did you know that diverse teams report better dynamics and integration when they work remotely instead of in person*? Right now things feel impossibly chaotic, but moving online can have many benefits to connectivity, satisfaction and overall inclusiveness.
This crisis undeniably impacts work--and the impact won't be distributed evenly across all kinds of workers. Right now, many organizations are scrambling to stay afloat and to transition their teams into this new approach. But what we experience today as a crisis may soon become a new normal. We should not let the fact that we are in uncertain times take away from the challenge of increasing the diversity of our companies.
Every crisis is also an opportunity, and this pandemic is no exception. What if we used this natural experiment in remote-working as a chance to challenge the way our teams are structured? What if we came out of this period of extreme uncertainty having moved the bar on creating more open, egalitarian organizations?
What are you seeing in your organizations? How has moving online affected you and your teams? While we are not physically together right now, we can feel closer by sharing our stories. We’d love to hear yours.
Something good must come of all of this. Perhaps something good can.
*Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: a Meta Analysis Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt, & Jonsen, 2010, in Journal of International Business Studies