Working at Neurability
The modern workplace is fundamentally incompatible with many neurodivergent workers. This all but guarantees failure, like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.
That's why we've redesigned work from the ground up around neurodivergent uniqueness, enabling us to make different abilities a strength rather than a weakness.
An office from a neurodivergent perspective
For many neurodivergent workers the modern office can often be the place they are least able to do work. The map below highlights just some of the reasons why a neurodivergent may struggle in a modern office.
So we've made some changes
We've made adjustments for commonly identified obstacles for neurodivergent performance at work. But this is just the beginning. Beyond not making common mistakes, we seek to provide individual adjustments not only to protect the quality of our work, but indeed to enhance it, both individually and as a group. This is one of the key missions of the Neurability Academy
Even before starting
Many automated candidate screening tools have been primarily trained on neurotypical applicants. Because the way a neurodivergent person thinks, and therefore the way they write, is different, neurodivergent applicants being disproportionately screened out because the structure or content of their resumes are different than what automated screening tools expect.
Interviewers are not immune to unconscious bias. They often draw conclusions based on their expectations for eye contact, handshakes, and ability to pick up on social cues. Furthermore, neurodivergent applicants often prefer clear instructions and have a harder time answering ambiguous questions about themselves often asked during job interviews.
Traditional Modes of Training
While everyone learns best slightly differently, the ways in which most neurotypicals learn best are notably different from that of neurodivergents. Standardized training materials, which are created to best suit the learning modes of the neurotypical, inadvertently impede the learning process for neurodivergent individuals, leading to challenges in comprehending and retaining information.
Although the lighting in an office building is something most of us do not think about, it is often an intentional design feature. Cooler blue and white lighting has been shown to increase productivity and stimulate the neurotypical brain but can be overstimulating to the neurodivergent brain. Furthermore, Neurodivergent people are more likely to be sensitive to fluorescent lighting, with up to 50% of people with autism having a severe sensitivity to such lighting.
Many neurotypicals tune out background noise without even thinking. However, many neurodivergents simply cannot. The neurodivergent brain is wired to process sensory stimuli differently, which often means the inability to tune out a noisy coworker or a whirring microwave.
Non-traditional Work Styles
Both neurotypicals and neurodivergents often have unique ways of completing tasks. However, compared to the neurotypical, the 'quirks' of a neurodivergent can often be seen as more extreme and often less accommodated. Examples are often person-specific but can be anything from pacing while thinking to specific pre-work rituals.
Need To Always Be Available
Neurotypicals and Neurodivergents alike often find being required to constantly monitor their email or Microsoft Teams inbox to be distracting. However, the consequences are even more drastic for neurodivergent workers, as this can not only inhibit their hyper-focus but also reduce their performance as neurodivergents often find it especially mentally taxing to switch their focus, which can lead to anxiety and increased stress.
For several reasons, many neurodivergents find it especially strenuous to socialize with neurotypical coworkers. Neurodivergent brains have to work overtime trying to pick up social cues and body language, which can be emotionally draining.
Inconsistent Workflow or Schedule
Many neurodivergent workers benefit from having a consistent routine. Unexpected changes in workflow can create a sense of uncertainty and make it challenging for them to establish a sense of stability and control over their work.
Lack of understanding among coworkers
It is exceedingly difficult to change the way anyone communicates, including the neurotypical. Even with sensitivity training, neurotypicals will often continue to expect their neurodivergent coworkers to pick up on nonverbal cues, figurative speech, and body language. Neurodivergents often rely on explicit communication, which can create misunderstandings alienating neurodivergents and impacting overall performance.