How, when, and where we work has undoubtedly changed for good.
Although this transformation has widely been deemed as a positive for many white collar workers, a grimmer side of remote working has emerged, particularly for those who have both mental and physical disabilities.
As we approach an era where workers desire diversity and inclusivity, it is time for leaders to have a deeper understanding of what it means for a worker to have a disability.
Some are introverts and extroverts, while others may be parents or students fresh out of college.
No matter what their backgrounds are, businesses have a responsibility to adjust remote working policies to ensure that workers with disabilities have the tools needed to be productive.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate among workers with disabilities is more than double than those who do not have one — and the pandemic has only magnified this discrepancy.
This is where both conscious and unconscious bias come into play. Although it is illegal to discriminate against anyone with a disability, one in three people show unconscious bias against folks with a disability.
However, companies can do more when it comes to engaging, recruiting, and supporting workers with disabilities.
“Needs can be easily addressed. [Hiring managers should] focus on getting to know the person as an individual and what special qualities they bring,” said Tom Cory, a project consultant at The Arc. “Employers should also know that there are avenues to get support through government resources.”
Creating a supportive work culture isn’t just beneficial for employees — businesses don’t thrive without nurturing an environment that is welcoming.