For those fresh out of college and starting a job hunt, or in their first job, there is a lot to get used to. Ways of working, business process, regular weekly and monthly deadlines as well as project work can feel like a lot.
Interpersonal relationships can be a challenge too. It’s not always apparent who is in charge, especially in workplaces with flat organizational structures, so it’s really common for workers to struggle to adapt as they get used to a lot of new ideas, and adjust to a new environment.
But what happens for those employees who are neurodiverse? For people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette’s, which are just some of the many different types of neurodiversity, being in the workplace can be harder still.
For starters, many neurodiverse workers fear discrimination, with one study finding that 75% of neurodivergent workers hide their condition due to perceived stigmas attached to cognitive disabilities.
Other employees find that workplaces tailored to neurotypical workers do not consider their needs. They are too bright, or too noisy and there are no accommodations made for acoustic privacy, for example. It is so important to get this right; a US study from 2019 estimated that 85% of autistic people are unemployed, compared to 4.2% of the overall population.
One useful way to support neurodiverse workers is through remote working, and there are several benefits that come with working from home. Since the neurodiverse brain operates in a way that differs from neurotypical brains, working from home can help neurodivergent people thrive.
Below is a list of ways remote working can be helpful to neurodiverse workers to help them succeed at work.
As many neurodivergent workers find that working from home is less distracting, it means they can focus more on getting the job done to the best of their ability. Around 34% of neurodiverse workers say that there are less distractions when working from home, according to research conducted by O2.
People with neuro divergences such as obsessive-compulsive disorder will have the skill set to be able to create the right barrier that will allow them to plan their day in a structured manner so that they are taking regular breaks when they should while avoiding distractions at home.
While it is important for any employee working from home to have a structure in place, it is also true that working at a pace that is stress relieving is also hugely beneficial, particularly for neurodiverse workers.
Being at home can also allow neurodivergent people to work at a pace that suits them without comparing their productivity to their colleagues. Research found that 60% say that awareness around the topic of neurodiversity in the workplace was crucial to making people feel supported.
This level of support from employers and colleagues is also key to helping neurodiverse people perform their duties to the best of their ability.
A person with rigid patterns or repetitive habits could benefit from working in a remote setting as this helps reinforce their sense or normality. It is really important to keep in mind that every neurodiverse person is different, and a recent study on neurodiversity found that between 30-40% of the population may, in fact, be neurodiverse without their knowledge.
Employers need to be more open about ways to help neurodiverse people thrive in the workplace. Just as neurodiversity is not a one-size-fits-all, neither should solutions or accommodations be.
Below is a list of jobs available at neurodiverse-friendly companies, and you can find plenty more on The GradCafe Job Board.
Graduate Technical Intern, Intel, Seattle
Intel is a leading multinational tech company that employs people from all walks of life. The various international teams in Intel are bursting with opportunities for fresh graduates looking to kick-start their career in an entry-level role.
As a Graduate Technical Intern, you will be expected to undergo research and devise new techniques in real-time, implement and analyze new algorithms, while potentially having an impact on Intel graphics hardware and software products.
If you’re a collaborative graphic explorer, looking for a way to further develop your innovation skills while working as part of a diverse team, you can find out more about this role here.
Software Engineer- Recent Graduate, PayPal, Chicago
PayPal is one of the biggest financial technology companies in the world and it prides itself on being an equal employment opportunity (EEO) to people with characteristics protected by federal, state or local law.
As a Software Engineer at PayPal, you would be expected to develop innovative solutions and high-quality products that will help millions of people worldwide. The job will also require you to
work closely with cross-functional teams in design, product and other business units, and have an understanding of concepts like web services, SOA, REST APIs.
If you have strong programming skills, as well as a keen desire to learn more, you can read more about the job here.
Siemens Graduate Program for Grid Software, Siemens, USA
Siemens is a multinational manufacturing company that specializes in infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. The company has Graduate Program opportunities in a wide range of areas for those looking to develop their career in such a well-established brand.
In this two-year-long program, you will take part in three results-oriented assignments, where you’ll quickly build in-depth knowledge and experience of the business from different perspectives. If you want to learn more about Siemens Grid Software, you can have a read here.