Disability, neurodiversity, and remote e- working: Promoting the creation of an inclusive workplace. ‘Remote for All’ (R4All)
Disability, neurodiversity, and remote e- working: Promoting the creation of an inclusive workplace. ‘Remote for All’ (R4All)Digit-Admin2023-01-16T15:22:04+00:00
As many employers look to continue remote e-working arrangements it is important to recognise that this may be ideal for some but not all. What adjustments can be made to ensure both productivity and wellbeing as part of this transition?
This project aims to fill a gap in understanding the impact of remote e-working for Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers (DNW)*. This group of workers, 20% of the working population, might be overlooked by employers, therefore becoming invisible and unable to work in a way that best supports their needs and capabilities.
Through interviews with Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers, employers and other stakeholders this project begins to fill a gap in the academic understanding of the experiences facing disabled and neurodivergent people at work.
*This is a UK based term, other terms are used in different contexts and internationally.
What is the current state of academic knowledge about remote working and Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers (DNW)?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of remote working for DNW, across public and private sectors?
What are employers doing to facilitate inclusivity and visibility for DNW, who are remote working?
What are the emerging issues for DNW in public and private sector settings, to remote working, and what are the key next steps to increasing inclusivity and visibility?
Rapid literature review
Semi-structured interviews with 24 DNW, 5 employers and 8 stakeholders
The literature review reveals that there is a substantial gap in the academic knowledge on DNW’s experiences of remote e-working. Existing, limited, research is mostly focused on physical disabilities, overlooking other disabilities and neurodiversity.
Key findings emerging from our semi-structured interviews suggest:
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution; employers should listen to and understand people’s individual needs to make remote working accessible and optimal for everyone.
Line Managers need training and support to effectively promote inclusiveness.
Overarching remote working policies should be inclusive for all, providing a framework for reasonable adjustments to be well understood and agreed.
In developing inclusive policies, employers should focus on optimising access and accessibility and usability of technology.
These findings offer important new insights for organisations, and line managers, to reap the benefits of remote working for this group, while taking steps to ameliorate any negative effects.
Research into the remote e-working experiences of Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers, supported by Digit's Innovation Fund, has been cited in a new briefing from the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology.