The sudden switch to an online, virtual workplace due to COVID-19 highlighted the importance of digital accessibility at work – whether you’re working in the office or remotely.
As people make their way back into the office, or are getting used to what we refer to at ANZ as a blended model – a mix between home and office, we need to ensure the lessons we learnt about accessibility and inclusion are adapted for this evolution of work.
Organisations such as ANZ have a great opportunity to even the playing field. We create opportunities to have the very best and brightest people doing wonderful things for our customers and accessibility shouldn’t be a blocker to this. Everybody deserves an opportunity.
We’ve been working in a very different way over the past 12 months, and in some ways it’s been quite good having everyone at home.
Virtual meetings are a great way to advance an inclusive culture by modelling some basic practices. We’ve adopted technologies such as Microsoft Teams, which allow people to do a range of things to make meetings more inclusive and we’re naturally building these into the way we work. For example, raising your hand in meetings when you have something to contribute or a question to ask, and enabling captions across the bottom of the screen.
Simple things like this can make a huge difference to people’s experience at work and can give way to new opportunities. And to ensure we continue to create these opportunities, we need to be mindful of how some things could become a barrier in a blended model.
We need to embed principles and practices in our daily work and remain both curious and conscious of people’s needs to avoid this happening.