5 Ways Employers Can Have a Sensory Friendly Office

5 Ways Employers Can Have a Sensory Friendly Office


all righty everybody (mumbled) (funny sounds) okay – let’s try that
again I am in my work clothes this week because this is my first ever video for
the employers out there so if you have any employers that need to hear this
message be sure to share this with them so this video I just want to give five
tips that employers can consider if they want to make the lives of their
employees who have sensory difficulties easier so a few of my tips are gonna be
related to lighting because I personally have a lighting sensitivity and this is
one of the things that I need a lot of control over so the first one would be
if your employees have a lighting sensitivity they need to be able to
control the lighting I personally have difficulties with fluorescent lighting
and lighting that has a blue kind of color to it but different people can
have sensitivities to different types of lighting so allowing your employees to
really have control over their lighting is important also for me you know I
really kind of need natural lighting and that’s not the case for everyone but
it’s something to consider so you’re gonna have to be able to accommodate you
know maybe someone wants to sit away from natural lighting in a darker space
where they can bring their own lamp or you can provide a lamp for your employee
or you know if you want to replace all of your lighting in your office with the
lighting that’s more healthy for people you can do that and everyone will
benefit so that’s something to really consider is letting your employees
control their lighting environment another one that for me is important
but is really really difficult for employers to do sometimes is to let your
employees have control over their temperature I get cold very very easily
and if it’s below seventy five degrees I’m really really miserable
and my whole body just becomes tense and locked up and in pain from being cold
all day and sometimes you can’t make an office warmer maybe you can have like a
small heater but a lot of buildings don’t allow space heaters so that might
be like I might be in an office wearing gloves and a jacket and wrapped in a
blanket it just can be ridiculous but like oh you know you maybe you have to
allow for policies that say okay maybe encourage everyone okay everyone’s
allowed to bring a blanket to work if they need to you know just to
accommodate for that sensory sensitivity to temperature the other thing is some
people can get really hot really easily so they need to be able to keep cool and
being too hot can be really distressing to some people so I don’t have a good
answer for this it’s like maybe there’s a hotter area of the office for the
people who run warm in a cooler area or you know whatever
there’s a hot area in a cool area you can you can try to find a balance and
you know lots of people will appreciate this because I think you know everyone
has a preference if they run warm or cool so this could be something that
it’s just a nice thing that you offer for everyone in your work space another
one to consider is people who have sound sensitivities can really struggle in an
open office environment and that’s you know the office with you know, no – no
dividers everyone’s just in everyone else’s face and it’s really just loud
and distracting it’s cheaper and it does you know people say encourage
collaboration to have that open office but some people don’t work well in that
environment and so if you do have an open office in your workspace consider
having quiet workspaces as well where people who really do need quiet can go
to work if you’re gonna have an open office you need to make sure you have
lots of phone booths lots of conference rooms and places where employees who do
not thrive in the loud busy environment can go to retreat
away from that space to get some work done because if you let your employees
that need peace and quiet to work go focus on their work and get their work
done they’re gonna get a lot of great work product done they just need the
time and space to do so um oh gosh I’ve lost track how many was that I should
have written these down I just kind of rehearsed it a few times but the next
one I’m gonna do and just because we are getting to the end of time is I want to
oh oh oh the other one was another sound one okay sorry – guys I’m a mess –
so another thing would be sound sensitivities allow the use of
headphones and earbuds and listening of quietly contain music when in the office
I strongly discourage you from piping music into your office over loudspeaker
system because some people with sound sensitivities can be sensitive to
certain types of music and audio and the continuous draining of it can just be
obnoxious and I bet when you talk to all the people in your office you’ll find
that they don’t all agree on the same type of music anyway so just allowing
everyone to freely listen to their own self-contained music devices while
working can be really nice for all of your employees as well – okay and then the
last one that I have is something that a lot of employees are employers are
really hesitant to consider and you know I I want to beg you to consider it
because I think it can be so great if you can set your structure up correctly
and that is letting your employees work from home whenever possible you know
it’s just common sense that if your employees are comfortable and feeling
good and well rested and happy then they are going to provide you with a better
work product and they’re gonna enjoy their job more because you know they
have more mental energy to focus on just work instead of focusing on. . . “oh my gosh I’m so cold” “oh my god it’s so loud and so bright and so
annoying in here” and all this other distracting sensory stuff that’s going
on and they can just be at home where they can control their environment
completely and be comfortable so they can just get their work done and you
know you can do this to where they always work from home or you know I
worked in home most of the time but I do go to the office as needed for meetings
you know and I we have lots of video call meetings and telephone meetings and
I talked to my colleagues at the office every day so you know I work from home
and it’s not like I am disconnected from the people that I am working with as I’m
working from home so you can and you can you can structure it in a way so that
you know you can give your employees more freedom and maybe it’s even just a
couple days a week working from home or one or you know it’s just you know
letting your employees kind of recharge their sensory batteries because one
other thing that I think a lot of employers don’t understand with sensory
stuff is they’re like oh you could stand it this day why is it worse today think
of it as like you have like a little health bar in a video game and all the
sensory things are chopping off pieces of it throughout the day and you get to
this really low health bar at the end of the day because you’ve been exposed to
this hostile sensory environment and so you start the next day and the
bar is you know maybe charged up a little bit from sleeping but it’s still
low and then it chops and chops and chops and then the bar is lower than the
day before and so then they come in the third day and they’re really you know
they need to recharge their sensory system but it’s an assault and they
haven’t recharged whereas if they were working from home they could kind of
recharge that battery more throughout the day
and come back more rested the last, you know day of the week or, you know, just it’s
allowing your employees like a break from sensory environments that are you
know hostile because it’s it puts your system kind of on this high alert high
defense and very drained mode if you are constantly exposed to
environment that is draining on you you know sometimes your employees will be
able to handle it short term but in the long run it can really do some damage so
these are my business thoughts and my my requests of all the employers out there
who want to make their workplaces just more accessible for their employees who
have sensory issues thank you guys so much I put out new videos every
Wednesday don’t forget to subscribe and there’s a bell you have to turn on the
notifications on YouTube or you won’t get notified when I put out new content
anyway guys thank you so much I will talk to you next week – bye!

Author:

5 thoughts on “5 Ways Employers Can Have a Sensory Friendly Office”

  • Hi. Where do you work if you don't mind my asking? And how were you able to arrange the work from home portion with your employer?

  • TheArtyYvonne Mixed Media Artist ASD says:

    Well said. Been a struggle in various workplaces. But now happily self employed working from home as an artist.

  • I could not stand working in an open office or have music plying loudly. I like the idea of having separate areas for people who are affected by the hot or cold, I personally am the opposite from you in that I prefer the cold, I also have a hard time with lighting.

  • OMG though it's such a pain, especially here in Europe, having to buy incandescent bulbs, because CFL and LED hurt me so much.

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