How to help neuro-diverse employees adjust to the ‘new norm’
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation with the theme this year being “Kindness” – particularly pertinent during the pandemic lock-down. Be Ready will be featuring different articles and posts on our social media channels on the difference kindness (in all its forms) can make. We start the week with this article by Adjust Neurodiversity Training and Consultancy on what can be achieved when a kinder view is taken towards neurodiversity.
As specialists in supporting neurodiversity in the workplace (focusing on four skills profiles:- autism/Asperger syndrome, dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD), they see the value that neurodiverse individuals can bring to the workplace. However the necessity for homeworking due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and the speed of the changes – has been a huge emotional and practical adjustment for all of us. Even with the prospect of the lock-down being lifted in stages, it has been difficult for people already used to homeworking, so imagine the impact it will have on neurodiverse employees.
Adjust’s article “The impact of home working on neurodiverse employees” explores the challenges that neurodiverse individuals may be facing – with the caveat that just as the spectrum of neurodiverse conditions is wide ranging, there will not be a “one size fits all” reaction or solution. Whilst some individuals may benefit from homeworking, others may be facing challenges such as:
- coping with a lack of or new structure to the working day, which may result in a tendency to overwork without formal office hours
- how to maintain effective and relevant communication with colleagues
- anxiety caused by a sense of isolation or (as the lock down eases) returning to work.
The article offers practical ideas for managers to support their neurodiverse colleagues in these unusual times by investing in people with care, kindness and compassion.
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