Neurodiversity in The Workplace - Why It Matters

Neurodiversity in The Workplace - Why It Matters

What is neurodiversity in the workplace? This refers to creating a workspace that accepts and supports people with diverse types of brain function and information processing, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, etc.. Why does it matter? Many people with these issues and conditions are excellent employees who deserve equal opportunities and conditions to excel at their jobs. In this article, we will look at this in more detail – we invite you to read on!

What Is Neurodiversity in the Workplace?

Neurodiversity refers to the variety of ways the brain functions and processes information among individuals. Unlike traditional views that pathologize neurological differences, the concept of neurodiversity recognizes and celebrates the unique strengths and perspectives that neurodivergent individuals bring to the table. But what does neurodiversity mean in the context of a workplace?

In simple terms, it means creating a work environment that is supportive and inclusive of neurodivergent conditions. It empowers employees with ASD, AHD, and similar disorders, giving them equal opportunities and letting them thrive in their jobs.

Why Does Neurodiversity in the Workplace Matter?

Neurodiversity in the workplace is important not only for providing people with diverse, neurodivergent conditions with equal opportunities but also for letting your organization grow. People with such conditions are often better at many angles than your other employees, so providing them with safe, comfortable, and accepting space translates directly into better business outcomes. What are the benefits of embracing neurodiversity in particular? Take a look below.

  • Enhanced information processing – According to Science Daily, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder can process information more quickly, with particular strength in locating the critical pieces of data. This means that, when given proper work conditions, they might often be more effective at certain tasks than your average employee.
  • Creative thinking – Other conditions, like ADHD, come with their own benefits – in this case, better creative thinking. Due to the overabundance of energy and the desire to multitask, people who have ADHD are often much more creative and will excel at positions where inventiveness is a key skill.
  • Employee retention – Since not all organizations embrace neurodiversity in the workplace, your employees are more likely to appreciate your efforts, thus becoming more loyal and less likely to leave for your competition.
  • Attracting new employees – Whether they have neurodivergent conditions or not, potential employees simply appreciate inclusive office design, so embracing neurodiversity will make your company more attractive in their eyes.

Our Tips for Supporting Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Knowing why you should support neurodiversity in the workplace, let’s proceed with our tips on how to do it. Here, two factors matter the most: your office design and your approach toward people with neurodivergent conditions.

Neurodiversity in the Workplace Design

When designing a neurodiversity workplace, you need to take…diversity into consideration. This means that, like in the case of flexible offices, you have to prepare different spaces that will cater to each person’s individual needs.

For example, you should install soundproof office pods for those who might be sensitive to extensive noise. It might be a good idea to select one or two pods and make them exclusive for those with neurodivergent conditions to ensure that they always have the comfort of a soundproof booth to work in when the clamor becomes too much for them.

While designing a neurodiverse workplace, you also should pay attention to tidiness. People with particular conditions might be, for instance, extremely sensitive to smells, so keeping the office crystal clean is a must if you want to create the best work environment.

Neurodiverse Approach

The second key element of building a neurodiverse workspace is ensuring that the attitude towards neurodiversity is right in your company. This might include organizing workshops where the needs and behaviors of people with particular neurodivergent conditions are explained, but also debunking myths and monitoring the behavior of the employees.

After all, an office won’t be neurodiverse if there is prejudice inside the teams, so just adjusting the layout isn’t enough – you must make sure that the attitude is open and inclusive as well.

The approach also includes your attitude towards neurodiverse employees. Here, we recommend staying flexible in terms of working models or working hours (if possible). This way, you will cater better to the individual (and diverse) needs of those with conditions like ADHD or ASD and show them that you truly care about providing them with the exact work environment they need.

The Takeaway

Neurodiversity is crucial in the workplace organization, as it enables you to acquire and retain skilled, often much more productive employees. Making sure that your office design is inclusive for people with neurodivergent conditions will quickly pay off in better efficiency and business results, while building a positive image of your company and sending it into the world.

You might also read: Accessibility in the Workplace – How to Become Inclusive Employers

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