The COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of folks shifting to remote work, and though there has been a recent push to get more people back in the office, many have found that working remotely is a better fit for their individual needs. Black women report higher workplace satisfaction when they can work remotely, as it decreases the likelihood of suffering from microaggressions, racism, and sexism. Additionally, remote work has led to an increase in the employment of people with disabilities.
As remote work becomes increasingly prevalent, the need for inclusive practices has never been more evident. Here are some essential tech tips and tools to make remote work more inclusive.
Video Conferencing Platforms with Accessibility Features
Effective communication is the foundation of remote work. To ensure inclusivity, opt for platforms that provide real-time captioning, which assists employees with hearing impairments, and choose tools that offer screen-sharing features for clearer presentations, helping visual learners and those with language barriers. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet can assist with your efforts.
Accessibility Software and Hardware
Offering accessibility software and hardware can accommodate the various needs of people on your team. Screen reader software like JAWS, NVDA, or VoiceOver, can support individuals with visual impairments, while speech recognition software such as Dragon can assist employees with mobility challenges. Additionally, providing ergonomic keyboards can enhance user comfort and increase efficiency.
Mental Health and Well-being Apps
While remote work has many benefits, we’ve started to recognize that, for some, isolation can exacerbate mental health issues. Consider providing paid access to apps that promote well-being, such as Headspace or Calm, or tools for tracking and managing stress, like Moodpath or Daylio. Consider also creating virtual support groups or providing EAP (Employee Assistance Program) resources.
Language Translation and Localization Tools
Remote teams often span different cultures and languages, and language barriers shouldn’t hinder inclusion. Employ tech tools that facilitate communication and understanding, such as language translation tools for real-time communication and providing multilingual documentation and content management systems for diverse audiences. Language translation software is still evolving, but there are a few that have made continuous improvements to better serve users. These include Google Translate, DeepL Translate, Bing Microsoft Translator, and Amazon Translate.
Customizable Interfaces and Adaptive Design Tools
Invest in tech tools that support personalization and adaptability. Customizable user interfaces that allow employees to adjust font sizes, colors, and layout preferences can make remote work more accessible.
Inclusivity isn’t just a buzzword—it’s an essential component of a thriving remote work environment. Tech tools can break down barriers, enabling employees from diverse backgrounds and abilities to thrive in the virtual workspace. Investing in these tools benefits individual employees and contributes to a more productive, innovative, and harmonious remote work environment for everyone.
If you’re looking for ways to create a more equitable recruiting/hiring process, inclusive technology is also a powerful ally in the ongoing battle to mitigate bias in hiring. Check out our blog posts Seven Tech Tools to Mitigate Bias in Hiring and Seven (More) Tech Tools to Mitigate Bias in Hiring.