As news of the coronavirus in the UK gets hotter I’ve been asking myself this week how this is impacting on diversity and inclusion within organisations. Some of the impact that I have already seen with my clients is:

I really do believe that the world’s toughest problems can be better solved with diverse teams addressing these problems. Currently the corona virus is one of the world’s major issues and we need to have diversity of thought, backgrounds and experiences if we are to tackle this together.

But I actually see a major opportunity for diversity and inclusion once the virus passes. 

Agile and flexible working becomes more common place

There is a real focus currently on allowing employees to work remotely and not have to travel in to the office or use public transport. Flexible and agile working helps so many people from working parents to people with disabilities or fluctuating health conditions. If more people work remotely because of the virus then it sets a precedent for a future that it is possible to work flexibly in your organisation. I talk to so many businesses who think that agile working is a great idea and in principle want to do more of it but often come up with excuses as to why it won’t work for that organisation. Usually it’s cultural like a culture of presenteeism.

Organisations are fragile when health and well-being slips down the priority list

I also think that businesses have been given a reminder about the necessity of supporting employee well-being. And the necessity to have contingency plans for when employee physical and mental well-being is not at its best. Organisations need a well-being strategy so that their employees have the best physical and mental well-being so that they can be top performers.

Key actions for business

So as I watch the corona virus situation unfold here are a few action points I suggest businesses take:

Please keep safe and well