Tools

How to Create a More Equitable Experience for Remote, Hybrid, and On-Site Employees

An employee experience map tracking gaps in the on-site, remote, and hybrid experience can create a more equitable workplace, wherever work takes place.

With so many companies struggling to attract and retain talent in the middle of the Great Resignation, leaders are increasingly more open to providing remote and hybrid options. While this may be a clear hiring advantage, it does run the risk of creating wildly divergent employee experiences based on location:

  • Remote employees may miss out on opportunities and networking as a result of not being in person. Women in particular are concerned they’ll miss out on career opportunities, which could dramatically impact gender balance in the workplace.
  • Hybrid employees may wonder why they’re sitting alone at their office desk attending virtual meetings, or being called in for work they could easily perform at home, just for the sake of being in-office three days a week.
  • On-site employees may miss the flexibility and convenience of working from home, while worrying about safety protocols and potential exposure to COVID.

Instead of creating an equal environment—like by mandating that all employees return to the office—leaders should strive to create an equitable environment, in which adjustments are made depending on where and how individuals work. Unfortunately, only 13% of leaders are concerned about the inequity between remote and in-office experience. But savvy leaders (such as our readers) can use a variation on the classic Employee Experience Map to address this challenge. 

This version accounts for three potential tracks—in-person full-time, remote full-time, and hybrid,—so you can better create a more equitable workplace, wherever that workplace may be. Here’s how we’d suggest using it:

  1. First, identify key touchpoints in which the employee engages with your company. This could begin as soon as their first interaction with your company—perhaps by using your product, or during a meeting at a recruiting event—and lasts until their last day on the job and beyond, if you have an alumni network. We’ve listed the most common touchpoints to get you started, but your team may have its own milestones. 
  2. Next, think through this experience for each type of employee: on-site, fully remote, and hybrid. What’s working really well in this workstream? What’s not working so well? We’ve included some questions to get you started. If you find yourself struggling to identify the pluses and minuses, though, turn to the source: invite employees to a retro to build out these experiences. Regular engagement surveys can also be excellent sources of information; just make sure you’re also identifying whether the respondent is on-site, remote, or hybrid, so you have a better understanding of what’s working, where. 
  3. Mind the gaps. Now that you’ve mapped out the experience, look for the gaps: where are the biggest differences between workstreams?  Your remote employees may need to attend more in-person conferences, while your on-site employees may need flex hours to pick up their kids from school. Remember, your goal is to make things more equitable by addressing unique concerns, not to implement the same solution for everyone. Pro tip: We’ve identified the touchpoints that typically have the largest gaps in red.
  4. Then, explore the common pain points employees are now experiencing. Are there any areas where all employees are struggling? Are some touchpoints more critical than others when it comes to attracting and retaining employees? Some of the more important pain points we’ve heard across the board include meeting fatigue, missed connections, work-life balance, and office politics.
  5. Pick one or two things to prioritize. People are already experiencing epic levels of burnout; trying to change too many things at once will only lead to more frustration. Look for quick wins that will demonstrate your commitment to solving these challenges, and if possible, deprioritize other work until some fixes can be implemented.

Contact us if you’re looking for a partner to transform your employee experience.

Published October 10, 2021