WordFest Live global event: Inclusion in the new world of remote working

By | 8th January 2021
Abha’s photo in the WordFest logo branding

Abha Thakor will be presenting at the WordFest Live global conference, which runs for 24 hours from 11pm UTC on 22 January 2021. She will present on the topic of inclusion in our communications and engagement in the world of increased remote working. Her talk will begin at 10am UTC/ GMT on Friday 22 January.

More resources relating to her talk, and details of how you can participate in a survey and further research to improve inclusion in the remote working environment will be published on this post after 11am on the Friday.

Take part in our research to help the remote working community

Contribute to a survey

10 easy question

Impact and inclusion in remote working research – you can help
by answering these short questions available on this Google Form.
All data will be anonymized.

Tips to help you get started reviewing your communications to staff and colleagues

This is an example. More will be shared on this page after the WordFest Live event.

  • Review your HR policies and practices, including how your line management and performance processes, to consider if there has been any equality impact and what steps you can take to mitigate them.

The global Chartered Institute of Public Relation’s Inside Group has produced a tip sheet for communicating with employees at times of crisis and particularly during the coronavirus outbreak. Tips for communicating with employees at times of crisis specifically COVID-19 (the PDF download is about half way down the page).

The Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) highlights the need for organizations to communicate frequently with their people, in its statement on the coronavirus. It recommends in periods of contingency planning and response, organizations should:

1. Regularly communicate with their people on the steps they are taking to protect staff, as well as on their sick pay and leave policies

2. Do the basics to protect staff such as ensuring they are aware of the latest public health advice, providing hand sanitisers and increasing the frequency and intensity of workplace cleaning

In its factsheets, it gives advice to employers on how they can look after employees’ health and safety and develop flexible resourcing plans.

Think and communicate about data and alternative working arrangements

  • If your contingency planning includes homeworking for staff not set up for this in their normal work, support them with specific, easy to follow information about managing data, device security and any GDPR compliance requirements
  • Use staff intranets to increase employees’ confidence in working in different environments. This will also help to reduce additional queries to IT teams which will be under greater pressure with an increase in remote working and supporting high demand to digital channels
  • Provide staff with HR and other contacts to answer queries on health and safety and staff wellbeing for alternative working arrangements
  • Set expectations clearly on working hours, response arrangements and communications lines
  • Provide arrangements for breaks, rotas for monitoring and updating communications channels
  • Include communications teams in debrief arrangements with other emergency response staff
  • Make available the organization’s lone or remote working policies with easy tips for shorter term arrangements

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website has an online self-assessment to help assess your organization’s compliance with data protection, particularly in relation to mobile and home working, removable media, access controls and malware protection. It can be found half way down its page under the heading ‘information security’. If your country does not have a similar tool, much of the ICO’s online self-assessment can help you consider your local setting.

Guide to GDPR (ICO) – applies to Europe

Working from home tips from the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD). This includes tips for working remotely, managing remote teams, healthy remote working, effective online meetings, homeworking legal and contractual considerations, further resources.

Remote working tips from the Local Government Association (LGA). Many of these suggestions work in other environments.

Security online and warnings on cyber exploitation

Home and mobile working cyber security tips, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

Cybersecurity checks post, National Association of Local Councils (NALC) (11 March 2020)

Resources to support organizations in creating user-friendly information for staff

Guidance on communicating with furloughed employees, CIPR Inside (April 2020)

Managing remote working, IOSH (PDF, opens in a new window)

The resources below in this section are produced by the Health and Safety Executive in the UK, but much can be applied and adapted to other locations.

Homeworkers toolbox, Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Lone workers guidance, Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Guidance on working environments to support people with disabilities, Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Selection of articles on the impact of Covid on equality and inclusion at work

More will be published in this section from Saturday 23 January 2021 after WordFest Live.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) report ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality’ shows how coronavirus is impacting gender equality in the short and long term. It highlights the disproportionate impact on women in particular employment sectors from issues, such as, home schooling and additional care demands, from reduced and sometimes no access or affordability of childcare or carers. Other research has also shown significant numbers of women, and a smaller number of men, who have been unable to maintain working hours or employment when faced by the impact of Covid restrictions on their previous caring responsibilities.

Sofia Sprechmann, Secretary-General, Care International, in her post on the World Economic Forum website, said: “This pandemic is having a deep impact on women and is throwing away decades of hard-won battles both in terms of gender equality and women’s economic rights. COVID-19 has seen the burden of unpaid work on women significantly increase around the globe.” (1 July 2020)

Article on whether Covid-19 could worsen gender inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean, The World Bank, 15 May 2020

COVID-19 and gender equality at work, Business in the Community. This organization has produced a fact sheet to consider the status of women at work during the pandemic. It makes recommendations to employers and policy-makers to mitigate any negatives and harness opportunities as they relate to gender equality.

Disproportionate impact of Covid on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups – this CBI webinar and article (June 2020), though UK-focused, has learnings for other countries.

What can the Covid crisis teach us about gender equality, People Management article, 8 December 2020.  

The Harvard Business Review article reported a greater proportion of women’s jobs (1.8xs) were more vulnerable to the crisis than men’s. “Women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses as of May 2020. At the same time, the burden of unpaid care, which has risen in the pandemic, falls disproportionately on women.”
Article: ‘Don’t Let the Pandemic Set Back Gender Equality’, published on 16 September 2020.

Equality information in the UK

This section includes some of the resources available in the UK which can be adapted for other countries.

Coronavirus advice for employers, produced by ACAS

Equality, diversity and inclusion policy template, from ACAS. This can be adapted for your organization.

Why equality, diversity and inclusion is beneficial for your organization too – ACAS summary

Equality Act 2010 guidance – England, Wales, Scotland. This includes guidance for employers and templates. Some of these may be helpful in other countries.

Equality Advisory & Support Service

ACAS Equality section – information on equality and discrimination, creating fair workplaces, protected characteristics in the UK. The information on fair workplaces can be adapted for other countries.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Equality Act 2010

International labor

More resources and articles are due to be published in this section from Saturday 23 January 2021 after the WordFest Live event.

International labor and equality of opportunity and treatment

ILGA Europe – LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia. It has advice during Covid including impact report on LGBTI communities.


Asia

More examples will be published in this section from Saturday 23 January 2021 after the WordFest Live event.
One example of workplace safety information.

Singapore

Manpower Act, Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Employment practices

Workplace health and safety includes Workplace Safety and Health Act