Technology

Neurodiversity and remote working: How one simple fix helps people thrive

Here are the facts: neurodiversity presents itself in many different forms and doesn’t always fall into easily understood categories — it’s an umbrella term for a multitude of different conditions with different needs including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA), dyslexia, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

For example, while you might think all autistic people are non-verbal, cannot be in loud spaces and lack social etiquette, many have exceptional verbal communication skills, can complete daily tasks like going to the grocery store and have meaningful relationships with others.

Women with autism are especially adept at mirroring the behaviors of those around them to mask their true feelings or confusion in social settings in a process known as masking.

Which are all reasons why neurodiversity is so misunderstood, especially in the workplace, and stigma remains despite many organizations championing neurodiversity as part of their diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies and company values.

Environmental Factors

While many office workers can attest that getting to control the thermostat and not having to make small talk at the water cooler are some of the best perks working from home has provided, for neurodiverse individuals with additional needs or acute sensory triggers, remote working has afforded lots of different advantages. They can control all aspects of their environment in a way that was impossible when working in-office.

It has also helped reduce absenteeism and increase employment among neurodiverse workers, which has allowed employers to save money in the long run.

According to data compiled by respectability.org, companies that started hiring people with disabilities saw their revenue increase by 28%, profit margins increase by 30% and their net incomes doubled within four years.

Research has also shown that people with autism and dyslexia have a tendency to be more proficient at pattern recognition, memorizing and math, while a separate study found that employees with autism were able to achieve maximum output three years earlier than their neurotypical colleagues.

Flexibility

So, what do employers need to do to help neurodiverse employees migrate to a remote working model? One of the biggest obstacles is lack of education, something HR teams should address.

Next up, flexibility. Creating a culture of trust, openness and acceptance, remote or otherwise, that gives employees the agency to work to their own schedule within a framework of goals, targets or deadlines, while also being mindful of making them feel included, allows neurodiverse individuals to thrive, personally and professionally.

The good news is that whether you’re a neurodiverse worker looking for your next role or a neurotypical individual who wants to work in a company that is committed to fostering a more inclusive workforce, the VentureBeat Job Board has hundreds of remote opportunities, like the three roles below.

Payroll Product Manager, Patriot Software, Remote USA

Patriot Software is looking for a Payroll Product Manager to help take its product to the next level. You should be intellectually curious, able to adapt to new problems and experienced with using new technologies to solve problems. If this sounds like your ideal opportunity, you’ll need five years’ of SaaS product management experience along with working knowledge of software development lifecycles (SDLC) and release management concepts specifically related to cloud (SaaS) software. Experience working with software engineering teams is also preferred. See the full job spec here.

Senior Python Developer, Virtualan Software LLC, Remote USA

In this Senior Python Developer role you’ll write effective, scalable code using Python, develop APIs and written API documentation using Swagger or similar, develop back-end components to improve responsiveness and overall performance and integrate user-facing elements into applications. Requirements include a Bachelor or Master’s degree in computer science, engineering, information systems or a relevant degree, as well as three plus years’ experience building services or applications using Python leveraging different libraries. Apply now.

Blackline Administration, Kastech Software Solutions, Remote USA

The ideal Blackline Administration applicant will help set priorities but will also need to be able to work independently and meet with the business users to help turn business requirements into system functionality. This role requires a strong understanding of Blackline functionality and how to enable it so you can create project documentation and configurations for new functionality, technical support, and troubleshooting assistance for Blackline. Find out more here.

For more exciting opportunities in progressive companies that are serious about their D&I policies, visit the VentureBeat Job Board today.

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