As a disabled person, many daily activities can be time-consuming, complicated and difficult. When related to the world of employment this could include getting ready for work, commuting and navigating the workplace.
With Covid-19 there has been enlightenment for many businesses regarding working from home. Although this provides benefits for non-disabled people, the benefits for disabled individuals are arguably much greater.
1. Your house is already adapted to your needs
For those with physical disabilities, your home will already be adapted to your needs; possibly a world away from your workplace or office. This provides the benefit of working in an environment that is safe and familiar to you, with everything you need close by. Exceptions to this may be any work-related technology or furniture that allows you to do your job, but an employer could arrange for that to be moved to your home.
2. You can dress in more comfortable clothing
Some disabilities require adapted or specific clothing. An example of this would be a shirt with poppers instead of buttons or adapted trousers or shirts for an amputee. Unfortunately, these items of clothing can be difficult to come across making finding workwear problematic for people with disabilities. Working from home allows an individual to wear clothes they feel most comfortable in, excluding an occasional change if attending a video call meeting.
3. You can attend medical appointments
Many remote jobs have flexible working hours meaning you can attend any necessary appointments and simply catch up on any work needed when you get back. With medical appointments being essential to disabled people, they don’t have to compromise their health by not attending.
4. Most importantly you can work in an environment you feel most comfortable
As touched upon briefly, for many people with disabilities or illnesses, home is a safe and comforting place. You have everything you could need around you helping you feel at ease. Furthermore, conditions such as anxiety make it extremely difficult for people to leave the house, therefore working from home can still provide career fulfilment and purpose, without distress.
Important things to remember
1. Workplace adjustments are still applicable
Just because you are now working from home doesn’t mean your employer does not have the duty to make reasonable adjustments to benefit your work. Changes that could be required include a change in working hours, providing a specialist chair, installing assistive computer software and more.
2. Don’t feel pressured to work longer hours
Just because you are now working from home doesn’t you should work longer hours to prove yourself. Setting working hours that mimic your previous office schedule will provide a familiar routine you can adapt to.
3. Don’t cut yourself off
One downside of working from home is the loss of face-to-face interaction with colleagues. Furthermore, with disabled people more likely to be lonely, it is important to maintain regular contact with your colleagues, managers and work friends. This, of course, is not just down to you, but make sure everyone at work is aware of the level of interaction you would like to have.