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6 ways to help neurodiverse employees

Neurodiversity encompasses lots of aspects: ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), Dyslexia, and more. Did you know that up to 40% of the population may be neurodiverse?

Providing a neurodiverse-friendly workplace is well worth it. Accommodating neurodivergent employees ups productivity, employee satisfaction, and has a ‘positive bottom-line effect’ according to Remote.

Six things you can do to help: 

  1. Create a customised work environment. In the office this may look like quiet spaces to decompress or concentrate. Or it may look like flexitime, asynchronous hours, or working from home. ‘Giving a person the space to decide when they’re most productive is the best thing companies can do for their neurodivergent team members,’ says J.D. Alex, a talent researcher for Stripe.
  2. Champion prioritisation over multitasking. No one can truly multitask but least of all a neurodivergent person. It’s like visiting a landing page and getting hit with multiple pop ups. Prioritising tasks is easier, as people can see what’s urgent and work through accordingly.
  3. Understanding Zoom fatigue. Online meetings can be overwhelming for those who are neurodivergent, so let your team know that they don’t have to have their camera on. Set these expectations ahead of time. Also don’t assume that if someone’s camera is off, they’ve checked out!
  4. Encourage regular screen breaks. Normalise stepping away from the screen for breaks. If everyone does it that’s a super inclusive stance.
  5. Clarity and transparency. For some neurodiverse folk, life is very literal and change is hard to process. So have clear goal posts, directions and expectations. For example, be clear about the start and end times to the working day, and to meetings. If plans change, just acknowledge it ASAP so they can manage their expectations.
  6. Book some neurodiversity training. Understanding and learning can really help avoid stigma and encourage dialogue. Ultimately, neurodiversity is not an issue. It’s actually a huge competitive advantage for a company!

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