Creating an Inclusive Work Environment: Accommodating Neurodiverse Talent

Editorial Team

Creating an Inclusive Work Environment: Accommodating Neurodiverse Talent

Nurturing a diverse and inclusive workplace culture is key to any organisation’s success. Whether neurotypical or neurodivergent, the most productive and successful workplace includes people who’re physically and mentally healthy and feel comfortable enough to put their selves to work.

Nowadays, neurodiversity is a popular term, and whether you’re an employment lawyer, a business owner, or a manager somewhere, you have already heard it. And that’s good news to neurodivergent individuals as it denotes accepting, understanding and accommodating neurodiverse talent.

Neurodivergence is, in most cases, associated with Autism; however, it also comprises individuals with traumatic brain injuries, Down syndrome, mental illness, learning or intellectual disability, ADHD, and others.

Neurodivergent Conditions and Their Impact on Work

Neurodiverse conditions are, in most cases, considered disabilities. That means neurodiverse workers need extra reasonable adjustments and safeguards. With that in mind, here are the most popular neurodivergent conditions and their effect on work.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Often known as ASD or Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by social communication and interaction difficulties and repetitive or restricted behaviour and thought patterns.

Individuals with Autism face some challenges, such as difficulty understanding sarcasm and picking up on social cues, anxiety when facing change, under/over sensitive to tastes, smells or sounds, anxious when instructions aren’t specific and concise, needing a longer time to process data and need to ask questions, make prolonged eye contact or feel uncomfortable with direct eye contact.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Shortened as ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterised by impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention. While it’s believed that people with this condition cannot concentrate, they experience challenges in regulating attention, from hyperfocus to inattention.


Popularly known as learning difficulty or disorder, Dyslexia mainly affects writing and reading skills, making it difficult to comprehend written text and decode words. Individuals with Dyslexia struggle to understand and recall what they hear and see, which can impair both learning and literacy skills development. Dyslexia also affects other areas like organisational skills.


Dyspraxia is also referred to as development coordination disorder. It disrupts motor coordination and planning, making it difficult to handle physical tasks. Individuals with this condition usually experience difficulties with tasks that need hand-eye coordination and balance, like driving a car or playing sports. It can also impact fine motor skills, like using small objects or writing.

Reasonable Accommodations for Neurodiverse Employees

While neurodiverse individuals present numerous strengths, they require a modified workplace to express their potential fully. Many organisations have realised the benefits that originate from neurodiversity and are more than happy to offer all accommodations their workers require to succeed.

The most common accommodations include written-concise instructions, noise cancelling headphones, flexible schedules, uninterrupted work time, extra time to complete tasks, allowance of fidgeting devices, job mentorship and coaching, calendar/email organisation, and interviewer experienced with neurodiversity.

Addressing Potential Challenges and Best Practices for Implementing Accommodations

A neurodiverse workforce offers several challenges to an organisation that is neurodiversity-friendly. However, there are various proven ways and best practices that can help address these challenges.

In order to establish a neurodiverse workforce, companies need to get buy-in from all levels, engage with local society, adjust hiring practices, be ready and more willing to accommodate, organise expert-driven and two-way training, be patient and amplify the message.

You also need to increase neurodiversity awareness through best practices such as neurodiversity week, neurodiversity training, and prioritising neurodiversity conditions diagnosis. Finally, you can seek advice on all employment law aspects, including ensuring that all your policies are inclusive and your workplace is neurodiversity-friendly.