Focus on Neurodiversity
“Neurodiversity” refers to the natural range of variation in human neurocognition. It's an umbrella term for people who aren’t neurotypical and includes a variety of conditions including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and Tourette syndrome, among others. We’re living in a time of increased numbers of neurodiversity. In fact, 1 in 8 people is considered neurodiverse, but fewer than 50% know it. Neurodivergents tend to be high-energy, out-of-the-box thinkers, and bold problem solvers, but navigating the modern workplace can be a challenge.
Like other recommendations, that INDEAL Cares has shared related to bringing wellness to the workplace, it's important for organizations to develop policies, programs, and environments that accommodate the unique needs of their workforce.
Employers are beginning to recognize that accommodating the different wiring of neurodiverse people can provide a huge competitive advantage. This is leading to a wider range of inclusive policies, programs, and procedures, though this recognition is only just beginning to affect workplace design.
According to a report by HOK, organizations that work to redesign spaces that support an increasingly neurodiverse workforce thrive and gain a competitive advantage by ultimately creating a more inclusive, healthy, and productive work environment.
Why? Neurodiverse employees may not always be able to thrive within the traditional workplace. Although there are many upside talents that they possess, people with certain kinds of neurodivergence may find it difficult to manage distractions, process details quickly or regulate emotions within the traditional setting. This only strengthens the case for creating and supporting workspaces and policies that are tailored to the needs of the individual employee.
Forward-thinking organizations that are invested in supporting a diverse workforce have reinforced tools and strategies to ensure employees have what they need. This includes:
Mental health and awareness training for staff.
On-the-job accommodations include a variety of tools – noise-canceling headphones, reduced lighting, ergonomic modifications, privacy booths, or other ways that employees can customize their workspace.
Changes to the traditional workday schedule, allowing breaks for activity or a change of location, and more flexibility.
Connect with INDEAL Cares to find out what you can do to support a neurodiverse workspace today.