Designing a Neurodiverse Workspace In 2023 – A Complete Guide

Designing a Neurodiverse Workspace

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that certain developmental disorders like ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism spectrum disorders, and other learning disabilities are normal variations in the brain and that people with such conditions have certain strengths.

For instance, somebody with ADHD could have trouble with time management but have high levels of creative thinking and motivation.

More and more employers are thankfully waking up to the fact that they can make their workplaces better environments for neurodiverse people and ease the stigma and stress that many people with developmental issues can face.

That includes designing workspaces with neurodiversity in mind, as neurodivergent employees can often struggle in traditional workplace environments.

If you’re looking at transforming your work premises into a neurodivergent space, you’ll want to check out the following helpful guide.

If possible, Design Your Workspace for Individual Needs

If you’re able to, consider designing workspaces for the individual needs of people with specific developmental conditions.

For instance, some people may find it comforting and encouraging to be around bright abstract artworks – you can discover abstract art at Singulart that is ideal for workspaces – while others may benefit from being around as little stimuli as possible. So, you could potentially look at ways of designing different spaces for both introverted people and people with autism, for example.

However, most companies won’t have the space to cater to every specific individual need. Therefore, you should look at ways of designing a workspace that benefits people with all kinds of developmental conditions. The following ideas will help you to achieve that.

Quiet Rooms

Some people will benefit from having quiet spaces where they can avoid hectic environments and instead focus intensely on the tasks they need to complete.

So, consider designating rooms as quiet spaces.

Active Zones

At the other end of the spectrum, many people with developmental issues will need spaces where they can escape the claustrophobia of small spaces, such as office cubicles, and be active.

Therefore, look at designating rooms where employees can be active and let off steam.

You could even install things like table tennis tables so that employees have activities to engage in when they need time out and time to move around.

Low-stimulation Environment

To encourage hyper-focus, look at designing your workspace with spaces that provide low stimulation. That will help people with certain conditions to stop being distracted and focus on their tasks.

Low-stimulation environments can be beneficial both for people with developmental issues and for the company as a whole, as they can boost productivity.

Social Spaces for Stimulation Breaks

In addition to or instead of creating low-stimulation environments, add social spaces to your workspace so that people can take breaks from stimulation.

Layout and Furniture

Some people will be more comfortable in workspaces in which the layout of the room and the furniture in the space has been designed with a purpose.

When everything has a place and purpose, some employees with developmental issues will be able to focus better on their work.

Low Traffic Areas

Many people with developmental problems that cause social anxiety will want to work in areas that aren’t busy to help alleviate their anxiousness.

So, look at setting up areas of low traffic. You can then place some employees next to busy walkways and doors while placing others in quiet and low-traffic areas. 

Final Thoughts 

By adopting methods like those mentioned above, you can make your work environment inclusive of neurodiversity.

In turn, that means you can hire and retain more top talent, as people with developmental issues won’t be put off working for your company, and boost productivity across the board.

So, you’ll be doing your bit in transforming businesses to cater to people who have all kinds of different conditions while also helping your business to prosper.

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⚠️ Liza is in training with WMHA and may not always provide the most accurate information.