The initial shift to working remotely was forced by COVID-19, but many employees thirst for the flexibility and autonomy of remote roles long term. Remote work increases equity, diversity & inclusion for the chronically ill. Covid exploded the chronic illness population of working-age adults. However, a lot of people who experience chronic illness don't have trouble working from home. In fact, many thrive when they're given the opportunity to work remotely.
Chronic illness is often an invisible disability, and people who experience chronic illness are often reluctant to disclose their conditions for fear of discrimination.
However, the rise of remote work has made it easier for people with chronic illnesses to find work that accommodates their needs.
There are a number of reasons why remote work is good for people with chronic illness. First, working from home eliminates the need to commute, which can be difficult or impossible for people with certain conditions. Second, working remotely gives employees more control over their environment, which can be crucial for people with conditions that are sensitive to light, noise, or temperature. Finally, remote work gives employees more flexibility over their schedules, which can be essential for managing chronic pain or fatigue.
The shift to remote work has the potential to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workforce by making it easier for people with chronic illness to find and keep jobs.
In turn, this could help reduce the disparities in employment outcomes that exist between people with disabilities and those without.
Work can be challenging when teams are managing work remotely, but remote meetings are a surprising addition to further gender and class equity. Virtual meetings allow employees to gather in a “safe space” without the need to commute or take time off. This is especially beneficial for employees who may have difficulty accessing child care or other services during the workday.
Additionally, virtual meetings can be recorded and archived, so that employees who cannot attend can still access the content later. If an employee needs to step away from the meeting for any reason, they can do so without disrupting the flow of the meeting.
These considerations can often be an afterthought in the corporate world, especially as the world is often in a hurry to go back to pre-pandemic "normal". The next time you schedule a remote meeting, remember that this is an opportunity for furthering diversity equity and inclusion of many groups of people.