If you've ever walked into an office and felt uncomfortable, you're not alone. For neuro diverse people, the typical office environment can be especially challenging. Neuro diversity refers to the idea that there are different ways of thinking and processing information that are all valid and should be respected. People who are neuro diverse may have conditions such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD, or other cognitive differences.
Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to make the workplace more welcoming and accommodating for neuro diverse employees. One important aspect of this is office furniture. By considering the needs of neuro diverse individuals when selecting office furniture, employers can create a more inclusive workplace.
Here are some ways that office furniture can be used to help neuro diverse people at work:
Ergonomic chairs and desks Many neuro diverse individuals may have difficulty sitting still or maintaining a particular posture for an extended period of time. Ergonomic chairs and desks can help with this by providing comfortable support that can be adjusted to fit the needs of the individual. This can help to reduce physical discomfort and enable better focus on work.
Height-adjustable desks For some neuro diverse people, standing can be more comfortable than sitting. Height-adjustable desks can be raised or lowered to accommodate different heights and preferences, allowing individuals to work in a way that feels best for them.
Privacy screens For those who are easily distracted or overstimulated by visual input, privacy screens can be a great solution. These screens can be placed on desks to create a more enclosed work environment that reduces distractions and helps to maintain focus.
Noise-cancelling headphones Open-plan offices can be a nightmare for people who struggle with sensory processing. Noise-cancelling headphones can be a helpful tool for blocking out the background noise that can make it difficult to concentrate.
Coloured overlays and task lighting Some neuro diverse individuals may find it helpful to use coloured overlays or task lighting to reduce visual stress and improve focus. These can be easily incorporated into the office environment, with overlays placed on computer screens and task lighting added to workstations.
By incorporating these strategies into the workplace, employers can create a more inclusive environment that values and respects the needs of neuro diverse employees. It's important to remember that everyone is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to office furniture. However, by being mindful of the challenges that neuro diverse individuals may face, employers can make meaningful changes that support a more diverse and productive workforce.
Office furniture is an often-overlooked aspect of workplace design, but it can have a significant impact on the comfort and productivity of neuro diverse employees. By selecting furniture that accommodates a range of needs, employers can create a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for all.