Working from Home Can Positively Impact Employees with Disabilities
Working from home has opened countless possibilities for employees with disabilities in recent years, and those who experience physical limitations are among the people who benefit most from working remotely. Whether a person has a visible or invisible disability, the remote work revolution has made it possible for them to find flexible positions that allow them to make a positive contribution and put their skills to good use.
There are millions of people living with limiting long-term impairment, illness, or disability in the USA and other countries in the world. Even though traditional workplaces have been accommodating individuals with disabilities, this doesn’t compare with working from home, which offers not only the possibility to work without having to travel but also the chance to work from a familiar environment, which is very important for many individuals with disabilities.
Working remotely opens doors for everyone
Disabilities come in many forms, both visible and invisible, and they include a wide variety of individuals, ranging from those whose motor skills are limited to individuals who suffer from hidden mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
Few people who have a disability are successful in finding rewarding employment in a traditional way, not only because they might experience workplace discrimination, but also because it is often difficult for them to cope with the requirements of commuting to work and fulfilling their responsibilities. There are, of course, workplaces where employees with disabilities feel valued and welcome, but this doesn’t always take away the struggles they have to deal on a daily basis to balance their life and work.
Persons with disabilities often encounter barriers in their daily life, ranging from transport to products and services, and it extends to the workplace in many cases. Working from home eliminates the need for workplace adjustments for persons with disabilities. Moreover, persons with disabilities are often faced with stereotypes and stigma and society, and remote working reduces part of the problem for them.
The technological revolution has been one of the main driving forces behind the changes in the workplace, with millions and millions of people joining the ranks of the remote workers every year. People with disabilities are among those for whom the impact of remote working has been positively life-changing. There are many incredible benefits of working from home.
What are the main benefits of working from home for employees with disabilities?
Remote work comes in handy for most employees with a disability, and there are multiple ways this type of work positively impacts their lives. Here are just some of the benefits of working from home.
No dealing with commutes
Travelling to work is one of the main problems for many workers with disabilities, especially for those who rely on wheelchair-accessible public transportation. By working from home, employees with disabilities can spend less time worrying about how to get to work and focus more on their actual tasks.
Moreover, remote work allows employees with disabilities to have a higher degree of freedom when it comes to deciding where they live and work. Because they don’t have to worry about the distance to the office, employees can apply for jobs they are qualified for but are not located in their proximity.
Whether it’s in the same city or across the country, distance is no longer an issue for persons with disabilities who want to pursue their dream career.
Multiple studies suggest that working from home improves the productivity of all employees. The lack of distractions that are common in a traditional office is especially significant for people with disabilities such as ADHD or autism. By working from home, they can be in a familiar environment that they can customize to suit their needs. Most people with disabilities might benefit from improved productivity when working from home because they feel more comfortable and are also less likely to experience microaggressions from their coworkers or clients.
Working from home allows employees to create their own schedule, which is essential for persons with disabilities, who often need to be able to fit in medical appointments or physiotherapy. Moreover, by working remotely, employees with disabilities can get the support and help they need from their family, and increase their productivity as a result.
Creating a better work environment
Working from home provides employees with disabilities not only with some extra comfort that comes from a familiar environment but also with the possibility to make adjustments to make their work easier. For example, some workers with disabilities may need to install software programs on their computers to help them with visual or speaking impairments or work from a special work chair. Deaf or hard of hearing workers may find it challenging to participate in video conferencing. Still, they can overcome these by installing a specialist phone or using speech to text software on their home computers.
Working from home has a positive impact for neurodivergent workers, who generally prefer online and instant message communication to face-to-face or telephone communication. Those with specific disabilities such as multiple sclerosis also benefit tremendously from working from home because fatigue is a genuine concern for them. By working remotely, they can get regular breaks and customize their routines accordingly.
With more and more employers committed to bringing the best talent to their companies, persons with disabilities can find flexible and adaptable positions easier than ever. Companies have become aware of the fact that disability doesn’t have to be a barrier when it comes to pursuing a career, and they recognize the skills that everyone can bring to the table and have a positive impact on an organization. By choosing to work from home, professionals with a disability who otherwise might not be able to work can find flexible roles tailored to their specific abilities and needs. Many companies offer remote full-time and part-time jobs for employees with disabilities, and they often provide extra support and all the necessary software and equipment to help their employees succeed.