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By Ramona Tanay
In recent case studies, carried out by ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), they highlight the trend of interior designers striving to address the growing demand of businesses – make the workplace more visually and practically inclusive.
As the values and priorities of businesses evolve to reflect those of contemporary society, so too does the physical workspace morph, transpose, and evolve.
Why Inclusivity Matters
Inclusivity means creating a feeling of acceptance, fostering an environment where others feel they belong. For employers who strive to obtain and retain top talent, fostering a welcoming environment is a top priority. Members of today’s talented and creative workforce are more selective about whom they will work for and about what conditions they will tolerate.
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Dealing with racism in the workplace is a no-win for any party. A business that is viewed as discriminatory will quickly see its top resources – its employees – flee in droves. Those who stay on board will see their creativity stifled by a restrictive narrow-minded environment. Instead, a smart and ambitious company will seek to create an environment that actively encourages a diversity of thought, an environment where all people and all perspectives are welcome.
A Global Mindset
The vast majority of large and mid-sized companies seek to be global players. This is not possible without embracing the diversity of our world and creating an image of inclusivity.
Inclusivity Fosters Employee Engagement
Inclusivity is also a major motivating factor in employee engagement. How is the employee supposed to feel engaged if he or she doesn’t even feel welcome?
An engaged employee is one who has control over his or her work experience. They feel trusted and encouraged to use their unique skills and character traits that they know can add value to the organization. Creating an inclusive environment that fosters employee engagement means showing trust and flexibility. One way to do this is in the physical space of the work environment.
The Visual Components of an Inclusive Workspace
Open Space With No Assigned Desks
There is a striking and immediate visual difference between today’s inclusive workspace and the restrictive out-dated ones of yesteryear – the open space.
Many new companies are opting for ‘no assigned desk’ practices. This means the employees are free to choose where they work, which can change from day to day or from task to task. The intended benefits of this practice are that:
- Employees are encouraged to socialize more
- Employees are empowered by the control they have over their environment which is likely to carry over into their work, stimulating them into taking more initiative and more ownership of their work
- Employees are more likely to be comfortable
- The hierarchy among employees is demolished – or at least not so overt – which tends to lead to less infighting and greater cooperation
An open non-assigned workspace is a clear signal to employees that the company trusts them to have control over their work environment. They feel empowered and they feel encouraged to take initiative and work cooperatively with their colleagues.
One of the most obvious and intentional signs an office is attempting to create an inclusive work environment is in the accessibility of their facilities. That means providing certain amenities which eliminate the exclusion of people with physical disabilities. This includes:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Braille signage
- Handicap parking spaces
- Automatic doors
Creating an environment that has clearly been designed to be inclusive to all people further instills this mindset in the employees on a daily basis. The visual signs cannot be ignored and serve as a constant reminder – if need be – that the company values and welcomes all people. This translates – in subtle and not so subtle ways – into a more welcoming and respectful environment.
Agile workplaces are designed to offer flexibility, empower employees to make choices about their work environment, and take ownership of their work experience.
Furthermore, an agile workspace should increase productivity in the following ways:
- Better collaboration among workers
- Attracting and retaining top talent
- Increased workplace happiness
- Better stress management
- Promoting initiative
The common thread to any agile workspace is the concentrated focus on flexibility. Whether it’s a conventional desk and chair or a soft cushion on the floor, an isolated quiet room, or a larger open space – the workers have options. This signals to them clearly and immediately that their company has a certain amount of flexibility, that their company respects their decisions, and trusts them to take control of their environment.
The mindset an agile open space work environment or office encourages will carry over into the work itself and into the overall company culture.
The impact of design on a company’s mindset, how that translates to their employees, and how that fosters engagement and strengthening of company culture is not a question of theory. We have decades-worth of data on the important subject. And designers and office managers are taking an evidence-based approach to design with predictable and encouraging results.
ALSO READ: Minimalism In Home Design
What signs can you see in your office that tell you it is an inclusive environment?
What amendments or improvements to its design could foster greater inclusivity?
Asking yourself these questions is not the first step toward creating an inclusive workspace or office. It should be a step that is taken on a continuous basis. Inclusivity, by definition, means constantly adapting to the people around us and creating an environment where they are welcome and feel like they belong.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord