From sensory sensitivity to verbal communication issues, neurodiversity can present itself in many forms. And as the umbrella term encompasses many different neurological variations including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, OCD and epilepsy, some are more visible—or invisible as the case may be—than others.
According to data compiled by Government Events, one in seven people in the UK are #neurodivergent, and while many companies are actively working towards a DEI policy that makes it easier for neurodiverse workers to thrive, the advent of remote and hybrid working has been the real game-changer for many of those who find in-office environments a struggle, or in some cases, a place they simply cannot function efficiently.
Women in particular are skilled at mirroring the social behaviours of those around them. This is a process known as masking, meaning social, communication or sensory struggles can often go unnoticed. While female neurodiverse workers can cope in the short-term, masking eventually takes its psychological tol. Research from 2017 suggests that autism masking for an extended period of time can lead to stress, anxiety and depression—leading to burn out or these workers leaving the workforce indefinitely.
For neurodiverse workers who have traditionally found communal open-plan offices difficult to navigate, remote working has revolutionised their day-to-day lives. From controlling the temperature of the room they’re working in to using dim lighting to prevent sensory triggers, acute needs are met without impacting on other colleagues or creating any kind of stigma around additional needs.
The scope for opportunity remote work presents to neurodiverse workers is multifaceted. According to data compiled by respectability.org, companies that began hiring people with disabilities saw their revenue increase by 28%, profit margins by 30% and their net incomes double within four years. Allowing employees to work from home has also reduced sick days and absenteeism.
Allowing workers to manage their working location is just one side of the coin—remote work can also allow neurodiverse employees to manage their workload in hours that suit them. For example, adults with ADHD frequently struggle to stay focused during the day and find it difficult to fall asleep, meaning they stay up later and sleep in.
Not ideal when you’re working a classic nine to five. However, if someone with ADHD is able to work to their own schedule, they can manage their workload more efficiently and be more productive in the long run. In fact, research has shown that employees with autism were able to achieve maximum output three years earlier than their neurotypical colleagues.
The good news is that whether you’re on the hunt for your next remote role or want to work for a company that recognises its responsibility in providing optimal working conditions for its diverse workforce, the Alt A Review Job Board has hundreds of openings, like the three jobs that are currently hiring below.
Working remotely, the Platform Engineer will help to build data infrastructure supporting the development of date projects including ETLs, ML models and CDP. You’ll also be working in a cross-functional team of platform engineers, security engineers and architects. ITV is also committed to fostering a more diverse workplace and encourages applicants to disclose disabilities so they can be accommodated. See the full job spec here.
Google’s new hybrid workplace includes remote and in-office roles and the successful UX Program Manager, Google Play candidate will be able to work from the London office and anywhere else in the UK. In this role you’ll be tasked with helping your team improve the design of products that are used by billions of users and work with UX designers, UX engineers and product managers to drive objectives and create innovative experiences for users. Apply now.
Managing key relationships for EMEA clients in the banking vertical, the Senior Account Manager will lead client engagements and strategy primarily in the areas of analytics, customer experience, content, CRM campaigns, data governance, data management, robotic process automation and IT application support. To qualify for this role you’ll need prior experience in banking, financial services or the insurance industry along with exceptional relationship-building skills. Find out more here.
By Aoibhinn Mc Bride