CIOs foster inclusivity in bridge between hybrid and remote work: 5 insights  

After helping spearhead the shift to remote work at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CIOs are now focusing on reconstructing offices and procedures to support both hybrid and remote workers long term, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 23. 

Combining the physical and virtual work worlds "has probably been the most complicated," factor of designing the hybrid office, Yael Cosset, CIO of supermarket chain Kroger, told the Journal

Five insights: 

1. Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has transitioned to a hybrid model, has employees in conference rooms typically join from their laptops so virtual employees can see everyone's face, said Paul von Autenried, CIO of the Lawrence Township, N.J.-based biopharmaceutical company, according to the report. 

2. Mr. von Autenried told the publication the company's effort has also helped boost inclusivity: "We're generally finding the practice that people are still raising their hands when they want to speak, and by doing that, it also encourages a greater degree of inclusivity … so that the remote workers are not disadvantaged in those moments of wanting to interject." 

3. Indianapolis-based payer Anthem has also revamped its conference room to support remote work; the company installed tablets with cameras that show the face of each person in its conference room instead of displaying a single wide shot of the entire group. The adjustment lets remote employees still see the faces of their co-workers in the office, CIO Anil Bhatt said. 

4. Centene is working on efforts to revamp whole offices, CIO Mark Brooks told the Journal. The St. Louis-based payer is building a campus in Charlotte, N.C., that will feature "fusion centers" that aim to optimize hybrid work processes. 

5. The fusion centers are designed for collaboration, with one room featuring a video wall that serves as a partition in the middle if teams need to work independently. The video wall can also be used as a presentation platform on both sides of the wall "to bring everybody … together to work in a collaborative way," Mr. Brooks said. 


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