Advantages of remote working for neurodivergent individuals

By Leah Richardson Volunteer Digital Communications Coordinator

It’s no secret that being neurodivergent and holding down a full-time office job is extremely challenging. From the overstimulating lighting, loud noises, and strong smells, office environments can send our senses into overdrive! Not to mention that every day is different for a neurodivergent person—some days are a little easier than others (and vice versa). I have to be extremely careful about balancing my energy levels to avoid burnout. Over the last five years since graduating from university and entering the corporate world, I’ve learned that going into the office every day doesn’t work for me.

However, it’s important to note that every neurodivergent individual is completely different; therefore, it’s crucial to ask each individual how they like to work and what adaptations they need in place to support them.

*Cue drum roll for flexible and remote working arrangements*

Possibly the only good thing to come out of the pandemic was the rise of flexible and remote work options. In my opinion, there are countless benefits of remote working for neurodivergent people. At best, it keeps us employed and allows us to apply for jobs that might not have been geographically possible otherwise, giving us more options to find roles that match our skills and interests. Typically, companies that offer remote work opportunities are often more inclusive and open to diverse working styles.

Additionally, being able to custom design our environments to minimise sensory overload—such as through noise reduction, controlling lighting, and having a consistent and familiar workspace—is invaluable. These adaptations not only improve our productivity but also enhance our overall well-being, making it easier to thrive in our professional lives.

One aim of EnterTech is to help prepare neurodivergent young people for the workplace by implementing a variety of supportive strategies and resources tailored to their unique needs.

We’re still young and looking for support to fund our projects, but some of our key approaches include:

– Customised training programmes: We’re developing training modules that address specific skills required for remote work, such as time management, digital literacy, and communication tools. In time, we’ll offer flexibility in training methods, including video tutorials, written guides, and interactive workshops, to cater to different learning preferences.

– Mentorship and support networks: We’ll establish a mentorship program where neurodivergent young people can receive guidance and advice from experienced remote and workplace workers.

– Accessible technology and tools: We’ll provide access to assistive technologies and software that enhance productivity and accessibility, such as screen readers, speech-to-text applications, and task management tools – all really useful stuff for remote workers.

– Soft skills development: Remote workers still need skills and abilities to function within a workplace, we already run workshops on soft skills essential for the workplace, such as effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. We use role-playing and scenario-based exercises to help people practice and gain confidence in these skills.

– Career counselling and job placement assistance: With the help of partner organisations, we can offer personalised career counselling to help neurodivergent young people identify suitable remote job opportunities that match their skills and interests. EnterTech also aims to partner with organisations and companies that are committed to inclusive hiring practices.

We’re aiming to create a comprehensive and supportive programme that equips neurodivergent young people with the skills, confidence, and resources they need to thrive in remote and office-based working opportunities.

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