Key Strategies for Providing ADHD Accommodations at Work

Employees with invisible disabilities frequently feel compelled to conceal their condition in order to be perceived as “not a problem employee” or to avoid stigma and stereotypes. However, many modifications for these types of limitations cost less than $500—or nothing at all—but can significantly improve the employee’s experience and overall productivity. In this post, we’ll learn more about one particular invisible disability: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition affects around 4.4% of individuals in the United States. That means there are probably some employees with ADHD in your workplace, especially if you work for a large company.

What is ADHD, and how does it impact employees?

ADHD causes a variety of symptoms, some of which are readily misunderstood on the job. An otherwise talented and skilled employee with ADHD may exhibit some or all of the following:

  • Difficulties paying attention to detail
  • Issues with starting and finishing duties
  • Fidgetiness and restlessness
  • Having trouble remaining focused and managing attention.
  • Struggling with time management and organisation
  • Talking excessively and having a tendency to interrupt
  • Low frustration tolerance

It’s crucial that most people with ADHD do not experience all of the symptoms listed above. ADHD symptoms may be moderate or severe, depending on the individual.

What are the advantages of attracting and retaining employees with ADHD?

People with ADHD have a lot to contribute as employees. In fact, the ADHD community refers to their special abilities as “ADHD superpowers”. Employers who attract and retain workers with ADHD benefit from employing individuals with many of the following characteristics:

Creativity and unconventional thinking.

Several studies have looked into this and discovered that people with ADHD regularly perform better on creative thinking tests than their non-ADHD colleagues. Performing effectively under stress and in high-intensity circumstances Individuals with ADHD thrive in occupations requiring a sense of urgency and pressure, such as ER doctors, nurses, firefighters, athletes, and journalists.

Keeping things moving and taking risks

While many of us are hesitant to begin a new activity or project, people with ADHD excel at jumping right in and getting things started. Even better, once a project begins, some ADHD employees can utilize their propensity to hyperfocus and become extremely productive. Observing things that others do not do and seeing things from a different perspectiveBecause people with ADHD battle with information and sensory overload, they are more likely to notice subtleties and patterns that others miss. This also enables them to perceive many perspectives on a scenario or problem much more quickly. This list is not exhaustive. The ADHD mind can provide an excellent complement to more neurotypical thinkers on a team. By making appropriate workplace adjustments for individuals with ADHD, you may not only solve their issues but also benefit your organization from the positives they provide.

What types of adjustments can benefit employees with ADHD?

Many of the adjustments that can help employees with ADHD don’t cost much money. HR departments can use the interactive approach to identify what will help each employee perform their job obligations effectively. According to JAN (Job Accommodation Network), the following adjustments are frequently useful for employees with ADHD:. To address problems with hyperactivity and impulsivity, your workplace could provide:

Remote work or private workspace?

  • Changes to how they are supervised
  • Help from a career coach or through services given by an EAP (employee assistance program).
  • Structured breaks
  • Accommodations that can help people with ADHD reduce distractions include:
  • Minimize interruptions.
  • Allowing for the use of noise-canceling headphones or white-noise devices
  • Offering a quiet workstation or remote work freedom.
  • Focusing an employee’s function on only the most important activities.

To help ADHD employees manage their time more successfully, you could provide:

Assistance in task prioritizing

  • Minimizing marginal functions allows employees to focus on key duties.
  • Ensure expectations are adequately communicated.
  • Partner them with a mentor or a peer to review and provide comments.
  • Technology and software, including apps, calendaring systems, and time-keepers.

Of course, this is not a complete list. Employees might be an excellent source of ideas for new accommodations. The good news is that the vast majority of these accommodations are inexpensive, easily adapted and personalized to meet the needs of each individual.

What are the best practices for managing accommodations for employees with ADHD?

It is worth noting that employees who declare their ADHD diagnosis are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers are legally compelled to make reasonable adjustments to assist employees in performing essential duties of their jobs. Following ADA best practices for accommodating employees with ADHD enhances your workplace culture and everyone’s employment experience, in addition to being legally compliant. Let’s look at some of the most crucial ones.

Providing a strong, well-managed interactive process

Because ADHD includes a wide spectrum of symptoms and potential accommodations, allocating adequate time to the ADA interactive process becomes critical. The more interactive the process, the more likely you are to make accommodations that will have a long-term positive impact. Make it straightforward and stigma-free to request accommodation. Unfortunately, even if you notice an employee struggling, you cannot order them to request an accommodation. The best way is to create internal awareness about mental health support in the workplace as well as provide clear directions for requesting accommodations. Using software like AbsenceSoft, which includes a self-service portal, can also provide employees with an easy way to make and track a request for an accommodation, especially if they are hesitant to call or email someone directly.

Remember to check back in

Once you’ve implemented an accommodation for someone with ADHD, make sure to check in on a regular basis to see how things are going. If the accommodation does not produce the intended results, you can restart the interactive process and try something different. Accommodation management software allows you to schedule automated follow-up reminders and record feedback in a single, centralized area. You can also immediately resume the process if necessary or document whether the accommodation was successful.