As pandemic restrictions are beginning to be lifted, more and more people are starting to return to the office as their main place of work. While the office environment may suit the working styles of many, it also brings back the issues which disabled employees faced previously.
To help overcome the feeling of uncertainty that some disabled employees may feel returning to the office, here are some of the actions you can take to make their return to the office easier.
More dedicated carparking spaces
Ensure there are plenty of car parking spaces reserved for disabled employees which are close to the office. Public transport can carry many challenges with it, so many disabled employees may rely on their own specialist transport to get to work.
Minimising the distance between the parking space and the office entrance will help make the lives of your disabled employees easier. Also ensure the entrance those spots are close to has adequate accessibility too.
Stagger work times
As people return to the office, avoid setting a single time in which people need to be in by. Giving flexible working hours means that people can get in at a time which suits them while still ensuring core working hours are met.
This prevents large crowds from possible preventing disabled employees from using the facilities they need and being obstructed within the office. They will also feel less pressure if they do decide to come into the office, as they can take the time they need to travel safely.
Provide adjustments for support workers
Some disabled staff members may require a support worker or assistance in order for them to perform certain everyday actions. Take this into consideration within their workspace and also provide their support worker with their own pass.
This will allow them more independence when support is required without needing additional authorisations.
Modify working arrangements accordingly
Employees with neuro-divergent conditions – ADHD, dyslexia, autism, etc. – can be affected by environmental factors in ways which hadn’t previously been considered.
By making adjustments to their workspace and giving them access to the tools they need to perform their role without obstruction, they’ll be more likely to feel comfortable in the office. Screen readers, voice recognition technology, and further tech is now readily available to provide assistance in the workplace.
Ensure other staff members are aware
Employees who do not have disabilities might not be aware of the challenges facing disabled colleagues, their needs, or the support they could require.
Make sure that staff have the right training so they can be more aware of these areas, including unconscious bias training. Having the right attitudes in the workplace will likely make employees with disabilities feel more comfortable within an office environment.
The five steps listed above are only a starting point in making adjustments within the workplace to ensure that disabled employees are more comfortable. Seek advice from experts within the field and ensure that you make all the necessary adjustments for your workforce so that no one feels that coming into the office puts them at a disadvantage.