Global Diversity Partners


✆ 1+ 425-941-6073

✆ 1+ 425-941-6073

How to Increase Diversity and Productivity – Lessons from COVID-19

There are many lessons to learn from the past nine months and going forward, there’s opportunity for companies to increase both the diversity of their teams and productivity by allowing employees to work from the location of their choosing. Employees are demonstrating consistently higher levels of productivity working from home than previously thought possible. Across the high-tech sector, software developers are, on average, writing more lines of code than when they worked in the office. Not only are people engaging in productive tasks during time otherwise spent commuting, but video- and tele-conferencing is allowing employees to collaborate effectively across time zones from geo-dispersed locations.

This past spring my former employer, a Seattle-based company, was backfilling a few positions on our team with offers ready to go out to two Black candidates, one candidate in Columbus, OH and the other in Atlanta, GA. The last step prior to extending offers was to ask each candidate to relocate to either our corporate headquarters in Seattle or the major Operations hub in Nashville. Neither candidate was willing to relocate so the offers were not extended.

Our team lost the talent and the opportunity to increase our racial diversity. The constraint to be physically located in Seattle or Nashville prevented our team from increasing the diversity of our workforce and from securing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and unique perspective of the two candidates.

Companies based in locations of relative racial homogeneity often blame a lack of workforce diversity on the lack of diversity in the region. The opportunity is for companies to act now to gain a competitive advantage in diversity recruiting by allowing diverse talent the option to choose to work in their region of choice or from home. Increase your investment in diversity outreach, in building trusted relationships within Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC) communities, then as the top of your recruiting funnel reflects greater diversity, set policy to support your candidate diversity by enabling employees to work from the location they choose. The companies that recognize this opportunity will enjoy happier, more productive, and loyal employees.

Copyright © 2021 Jonathan Stutz