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December 22, 2021 (Updated April 3rd, 2024)

Why neuro-inclusive workplaces are beneficial for everyone

by Caragh Medlicott posted in Neurodiversity.

Ayoa | Why neuro-inclusive workplaces are beneficial for everyone
Workplaces are an important part of society. They are where we spend our time during working hours, and the forefront of productivity for businesses and organizations. I think we can all agree that the best kind of workplace is one which is beneficial to both employee and employer; employees want to be stimulated and upskilled in work, while businesses rely on their teams to run daily operations and help achieve their future ambitions.

In matters of workplace diversity and innovation, neuro-inclusivity is often overlooked or forgotten. For those not familiar with the term, neuro-inclusivity refers to a workplace where employees with a range of neurological differences are accepted and integrated into daily working life. In fact, neuro-inclusive workplaces are actually beneficial to everyone. Here’s why.

Support for existing employees

In recent years, more and more people have cottoned on to the importance of privilege and how it can impact opportunities. Certain identities can make finding and maintaining work more challenging, and just like race or gender, neurodivergence has – historically – impacted who does and doesn’t get jobs. One reason for this has been the taboos attached to being neurodivergent (ND), and another reason is the constraints and rigidity associated with the traditional workplace. When businesses adjust to be more neuro-inclusive, they don’t only open their company up to recruiting ND talent in the future, they also help to aid existing employees who (whether diagnosed or not) are already neurodivergent. Statistically one in seven people are ND, and by becoming more neuro-inclusive you help to make your company a more accepting and welcoming place – while also supporting and getting more out of your existing employees.

Beneficial for everyone

When it comes to neuro-inclusivity, it’s important to remember that changes and adjustments which can be made to improve the ND-suitability of any team or business aren’t exclusively beneficial to ND employees. In fact, many of the recommended changes – moving away from solely text-based information, increased flexibility in approaches to work, an acceptance of innovation and out-of-the-box thinking – are also incredibly beneficial to the whole team, whether they’re ND or not. Plus, much of modern tech focuses on bridging and harmonising neuro-inclusive teams rather than separating them apart. With an inclusive and accessible tool like Ayoa, teams can be empowered to work in their own way while still working together – meaning everyone is happier and working at their best! This kind of balance is conducive to great teamwork and leaves employees feeling happier, too.

Improves business & society

Yes, that’s right. A neuro-inclusive team is beneficial for business, as well. It’s been proven again and again that workplace diversity is of great benefit for productivity and success. Research has repeatedly shown the link between a diverse workplace and financial success. One reason for this is that a diverse team offers a diverse range of perspectives. In the case of neuro-inclusivity in particular, there has been an oft-observed link between ND individuals and the ability to think both creatively and outside of the box. When you consider that creativity is the lifeblood of all successful companies, it’s not surprising that hiring a more neuro-inclusive team can be beneficial for business. But more than just financial gain, companies who create positive and inclusive environments for ND employees by educating their workforces actually make society a better place, too. So much of ND stigma is rooted in ignorance, but the more businesses educate and challenge old norms surrounding ND, the more society will reap the benefits, too.

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Caragh Medlicott

Caragh Medlicott is a freelance writer and interim Editor of Wales Arts Review. After graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University she began a full-time writing career in Wales. She is the author of several published short stories and was shortlisted for the Lunate 500 award in December 2020, and a finalist in Narrative’s 30 Below competition in 2021. She is a regular contributor to BBC Wales' The Review Show.

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