Why Neurodiversity in Workspace Design is so important?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about neurodiversity in the workplace. Everyone’s brain is different and these differences should be celebrated and accommodated – this is particularly relevant when it comes to workspace design because our places of work are where we spend the majority of our time. They therefore need to be designed with everyone’s needs in mind, and that is not possible if designing for neurodiversity is ignored.

How does Neurodiversity apply to workspace design?

Neurodiversity is an important concept that recognizes, respects and values people with different neurological abilities or disabilities. When applied to workspaces, Neurodiversity-sensitive design seeks to create an environment that supports the needs of all employees, regardless of their individual neurologies. This kind of design can help foster inclusivity and productivity by providing accommodations, tools and resources to aid in the successful performance of job duties, while also allowing employees to feel comfortable and safe.

 Workplace flexibility is also key – providing options like work-from-home days or flexible scheduling helps makes sure that different tasks can be completed efficiently by enabling individuals to get optimum results no matter how they prefer to work. Adopting such policies is vital in creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can feel comfortable and contribute fully with their unique strengths and quirks. The impact this then has on workspace design is profound – a working environment that provides the user with the right spaces, for the right tasks and that supports their individual neurologies is a workspace that is far more able to contribute to the attraction and retention of top-talent employees (which every business wants, right).

How a neurodiverse workplace can be beneficial for employees and employers alike

Neurodiversity in the workplace can be a truly positive thing, allowing employees to bring their unique skillsets and perspectives to their roles. For employers, this means having access to new ideas created through creative problem solving. Employees on the autism spectrum can be particularly effective in roles that require attention to detail, while those classified as hyper-focused may develop extremely loyal relationships with customers. Neurodiverse teams can create a greater understanding of different customer needs since each individual will have something unique to contribute. In turn, this contributes to a better functioning team overall and increased job satisfaction for all its members.

Tips on how to create a neurodiverse workspace

Creating a neurodiverse workspace is a way of honouring and accommodating individuals with different sensory preferences. There are several factors to consider to ensure an environment that enables all individuals to thrive. For instance, offering a variety of seating options like rocking chairs, standing desks, or even hammocks can increase comfort for those who need physical movement throughout their day. Similarly, enhancing the ability to control the amount and type of lighting can create an atmosphere that works best for everyone — whether natural or artificial. And incorporating acoustic absorption and blocking products, as well as sound masking or noise-cancelling technology, are great ways to accommodate those with sensitivity to loud sounds in the workspace, therefore reducing distractions. Ultimately, creating a workspace where individuals with different sensory needs have access to what they need is essential for creating truly inclusive work environments.

Thinking styles and learning capabilities of the workforce

When designing an effective neurodiverse workspace, its essential to understand the different thinking styles, behavioural patterns, and learning capabilities of all individuals. Workspace designs that don’t consider will end up with a work environment able only to support the ‘standard’ requirements of the workforce – this will never work for those who face various neurological challenges. This will also create friction between people and place, resulting in staff absenteeism, sickness and ultimately resignation.

Recognizing the varied thinking styles and learning capabilities of the workforce is a huge step forward in creating inclusive workspace environments that are better suited for each individual’s unique needs. By designing workspaces that are accommodating for people of varying neurology, employers can help foster a positive working experience for their employees. This will not only help them to feel safer and more comfortable at work but also lead to increased productivity and motivation since they feel listened to and respected by their employer.

Some examples of companies that have successfully implemented neurodiverse workplaces

Many leading companies are recognizing the positive impact of a neurodiverse workplace, and these successes are quickly becoming the norm. For example, Microsoft recently announced an autism hiring program aimed at their inclusive workforce. Another big tech giant, IBM, has long been an advocate for a more diverse workplace and that includes offering learning-related disabilities such as dyslexia a place in their ranks. Additionally, Barclays recently implemented a program to encourage autistic candidates to join the firm. This program focuses on helping autistic applicants maximize their potential based on their unique characteristics and skills or providing support through assistance programs once they have started with the company. All of these examples demonstrate that companies recognize the value of diversity and specifically the inclusion of neurodiverse candidates adding to their team.

There are many many more successful companies out there that have already implemented neurodiversity in their workplaces, so it is definitely possible to do! To discuss how Creatif’s products and solutions contribute to neurodiverse work environments, contact one of our team today.

Contact Creatif today to discuss your moving wall and reconfigurable space requirements with one of our experts

Return to Blog