It is your sole duty as an employer to make your workplace comfortable and work-friendly for the employees. Many companies haven’t migrated to disable-friendly culture. This issue is not intentional but an infrastructural bias toward certain stigma.
Times are changing for the better. Organizations are open to transitioning to a people-centric culture in order to increase employee adaptiveness. Gone are the days when disabled employees were excluded from the workforce. In fact, there are strict policies and quotas to employ a certain number of disabled candidates as a part of the global diversity campaign. Here are nine ways you can make your office disable-friendly.
You should start by having a stairlift in your office, and for your knowledge stairlift cost around twenty-five hundred to fifteen thousand dollars. The cost to set a stairlift can vary because of staircase length, shape, and type.
People that cannot do their day-to-day activities without a wheelchair cannot use stairs. Partially paralyzed, impaired or amputees can’t get on an elevator without getting help from others.
By setting up a stairlift, you just encouraged your other talent pool to be more productive.
2. Change in Work-loads
Not all disabilities are visible. Certain work-loads can impair your employees mentally. You may also miss out on certain talent pools because of not hiring someone with mental discomfort. There is nothing scary about hiring or keeping such a person in your company.
You should restructure your work schedules. Maybe open some vacancies for remote work. Implement flexible targets. Arrange monthly or quarterly extra-curricular events. Creating breathing space for your employees is the most important factor.
You can also implement progressive workload culture. A lot of multinational companies are going towards this system. A high-low working culture can increase productivity for such disabilities. Keep the pressure high at the beginning of the week and low at the end.
3. Change the Design of Your Office
If you cannot think of any idea to make your office disable-friendly, maybe it’s time to hire a professional for this job. They may suggest big changes.
Extensive changes or not, you need to consult a professional for remodeling. Only they can make your office more comfortable for disabled and abled people.
The expense might scare you off the decision but remember, it’s a one-time investment. The return you will get is far greater than the expense.
4. Train Your Human Resource Department
You need to arrange training programs for your talent acquisition team. Physically and mentally disabled people still face issues while attending job interviews. The interviewees must know how to handle such interviews.
There are many available training methods that you can subscribe to. Be it online or offline, you need professional guidance to achieve the end result. Your adviser may even suggest taking help from certain disability-friendly tools for the interview.
Do a workshop before every job vacancy for the maximum output from your human resource department. It’s periodic training, not one-time.
5. Train Existing Employees
Training should not stop around management and the human resource department. Disable people will work with them. Your clients can be disabled people too. You need to train your existing employees as well.
Hire a person who has brief experience with disabilities. The training should focus on awareness, empathy, and sensitivity. This is not a one-time training. Expect it to be periodic training.
Always inform your employees about the upcoming changes. Who knows, maybe they have one or two suggestions that may come useful for your office.
6. Tools and Equipment
You need to add proper tools and equipment to help people with disabilities. Start by adding parking lots for physically disabled people. Set up an audio induction loop or amplified teller for people with hearing disabilities.
These tools can also be used to assist people with visual impairment.
You can also implement a braille system on your signs, labels, railing, and office equipment. This is not as expensive as you are thinking. Sticker companies can make you cheaper adhesive labels.
Get computers and other disable friendly devices for your office. A lot of companies make exclusive keyboards, monitors, and software for people with disabilities.
7. Restructure Your Policy
Restructuring your company policy is the most important part. Add distinct policies for people with disabilities. Disability laws can vary from country to country. Keep these aspects in mind before you make the changes.
The new policy should also include training programs, mentoring sessions, and workshop classes for employees with a disability. This will increase productivity and help reduce skill-based discrimination.
Policy exists to help both the company and its employees. Your new policy should include a specialized working structure for people with disabilities. Incorporate specific healthcare and emergency coverage for different conditions.
8. Vacancy Accessibility
Making the office disable-friendly won’t make people with disabilities come work for you. The job offers also need to be friendly. Make it more accessible.
Add a voice-over for visually impaired people. Make texts bigger for partially-visually-impaired people. If there is a written exam for selection, make some changes for the candidates with physical disabilities.
There are external firms specialized in this field. If you can’t take chances with your talent acquisition team, you can always hire them for a better outcome.
9. From Small Changes to Big Impact
You should always start with small changes if the company can not handle certain costs. For instance, changing the entrance structure of your office is not expensive but is handy for people with disabilities.
These are the small things which you can consider to make the office more friendly for people with different disabilities :
- Make amenities like restrooms.
- Set up an exclusive drinking fountain.
- Height adjustable tables.
- Text to voice generators.
- Broad lanes.
- Hire and train specialized assistants.
- Change in commodities like papers and documents.
This article skims on the subjects of making your office more disable-friendly. It’s an ongoing process and will always have room for improvement. It’s a group effort that will bring benefits to your company. The public will welcome the image of the company, the diversity, and the engagement of your employees.
We hope this guide helps you to make better choices for your office. You should always consult with a professional before making any change.