Diversity in the workplace

December, 22, 2014 by Brooke McLaughlin author workhoppers

A growing concern in HR is diversity in the workplace and how to deal with this. This isn’t an easy issue to tackle. Managing diversity in the workplace is becoming a hot subject in the field of HR because of its immense impact on companies. In some cases, leveraging diversity in the workplace can drive the success of a company. Companies come up with more innovative and creative ideas and solutions by having many different people with dynamic views on issues. On the other hand, ignoring  the diversity of the human capital in your company can be deadly to your organization if you fail to acknowledge the differences and make the right changes. The challenge is to drive as much potential from every single employee in your company no matter where they are from and who they are. There needs to be more focus on making company policies inclusive and non-discriminatory. Clearly, being inclusive in the workforce can be a great advantage!

But what happens when standard work is simply not able to cater to specific needs of a certain group in the workforce? This is the case for people with disabilities and other health issues.

As demonstrated by Lisa A. Schur, an associate professor at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, people with disabilities are even more likely to engage in flexible work than those without disabilities. Non-standard jobs are able to provide flexibility that standard work cannot. It contributes solutions to the headache that is brought by health and mobility problems. More flexibility is always a perk, but for some of the people in the workforce, it can be the difference between being able to work or not.

The Advantages

For someone with disabilities, flexible work can definitely be a good approach in being part of the workforce. First, contingent work enables someone to work from home or to commute only a few times a week. This can have a huge impact on a person who has mobility issues. Also, telecommuting can be a necessity to someone who has anxiety issues or concentration problems. Now, workers can choose the right environment to work in and can perform at their best. Finally, contingent work can also allow a more adjustable schedule to fit in any appointments or necessary hospital stays.

This raises many questions: are people with disabilities or health issues driven out of traditional work because employers simply cannot cater to their needs? Should employers revisit their policies to better integrate the difficulties of people with disabilities or health issues?

Contingent work provides flexibility to the people who need it most. It is a way to include people with disabilities and other health issues, instead of driving them out. Let’s all remember, being inclusive is good for business!

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Written by Josianne Cimon of workhoppers.com; where companies and those looking for flexible work opportunities can easily connect.

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