Choose Tech that Supports Neurodiversity and Meeting Equity
If you want to improve neurodiversity at your company, making simple changes to your work and meeting spaces can go a long way toward inclusion. Neurodiversity means the gamut of human behaviors and brain processes. There are “neurotypical” employees and those who are neurodivergent and work differently. The term “neurodivergent” can refer to autism, ADHD, as well as differences in learning, coordination, processing speed, and executive functioning.
Having a neurodiverse workforce ensures your company can tap into a range of skills and talents. Neurodivergent and neurotypical employees alike have different strengths. A neurodivergent individual may excel at skills like memorization, concentration, technical abilities, or attention to detail. One neurodiversity work program resulted in productivity 90% and higher than employees who had worked at the company for years.
Accommodating neurodiversity includes providing a work environment for a range of work styles and preferences. These accommodations can start with small changes to your tools and office spaces.
Create Flexible, Neuro-Inclusive Workspaces
Build cohesive teams by ensuring all employees are included, engaged, and supported. Companies can begin by creating an atmosphere where people can easily request accommodations and communicate with managers.
It’s also important to update physical spaces to accommodate neurodivergent employees. All employees–but especially those who are neurodivergent–may need breaks from noise, stimulation, and social activity. Providing a mix of open collaboration spaces and quiet workspaces ensures employees can successfully work in a variety of ways.
This may mean dedicating spaces to quiet, focused, or calming activities. Sensory rooms are becoming more commonplace as places where employees can control the environment to escape stimuli or quickly reduce stress.
You can also create flexible spaces that can be easily transformed and used for multiple purposes. Consider providing a variety of methods and spaces for communication and collaboration. For example, employees who don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in groups may need tools or spaces for sending messages or having one-on-one conversations.
In addition to limiting sound and sensory stimulation, it’s important to create spaces where users can adjust lighting and temperature.
How Audiovisual Technology Improves Meeting Equity
Technology can play an important role in supporting and engaging neurodivergent employees, as well as ensuring they’re included in collaboration. Some essential technologies include:
- Assistive devices and software: Screen reading, speech-to-text, and voice-controlled devices can simplify tasks.
- Collaboration tools: Provide video conferencing and presentation capabilities that allow for captioning and multiple ways to hear and see content.
- Room control devices: Give employees the ability to control audio, video, lighting, and temperature in their workspace.
- Noise-canceling headphones: Headphones can be easily used in any kind of space to block distracting sounds.
- Room management tools: Room occupancy monitoring and room scheduling tools help employees find and reserve the right spaces.
Giving employees more control over audio and visual elements in a room can help them engage with their work, rather than be stressed by their surroundings.
Work with Experts in Creating Flexible Spaces
If you want to update spaces to accommodate a neurodiverse workforce, consider consulting with experts in neurodiversity, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and flexible and equitable workspaces and technologies. Nationwide AV designs workplace technology solutions that engage employees and improve work. Talk to one of our experts today.