When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the hybrid workplace model is the optimum choice for any company. For years, workers with disabilities have been advocating for the ability to be able to work from home. It wasn't until the pandemic hit that this became a preferred model for most companies. Hybrid work is itself a form of accessibility, with benefits for employers as well.
In 2021, nearly 6 million people with a disability were employed in the United States — about 19% of the total population of people with disabilities. That’s three times lower than the employment rate for people without disabilities. A recent report from the Center for American Progress found that closing that gap could bring more than 14 million more people with disabilities into the workforce.
Giving employees the option to work from home opens a whole new ability for companies to be inclusive, giving companies access to a whole new level of IQ and talent that might not otherwise be available to them.
Part of the reason why giving disabled employees the option to work from home, is that it gives them an ability to work from a controlled environment. Depending on the type of disability they have, for example, ADHD, this might allow them to feel more comfortable and able to focus on their work given that they are choosing their environment ahead of the time.
One journalist recounts his journey as someone who was born three months premature and as a result has multiple disabilities. In his past career as a special education teacher, he cites that he was tired even before clocking in. The journey to the school he worked at completely depleted him. His cerebral palsy caused him to tire quickly and zapped the energy that he needed to invest in his students all day.
Choosing to shift his career to a remote option is what has allowed him to continue thriving. The shift to the hybrid work models could potentially open up an entirely new workplace market to disabled workers seeking employment.
Diversifying your company with employees of different backgrounds provides for an optimal learning experience and rich work culture. The more variety you have, the greater the integration of different abilities and perspectives. This ultimately creates a more robust outcome in the produced work. The disabled community is often overlooked, but their sensibility and strength can function as valuable assets in any work environment.
The inclusion of disabled employees in work from home models should not be an exception to the rule, but rather the new standard for a more accessible workplace. The time is now to close the gap and embrace diversity in all forms within our workforce. This pandemic has been a trying time for everyone, but it has also been a time of growth and change. The way we work has been forever changed, and for the better. The hybrid workplace model is here to stay.
Are you interested in creating a workplace that embodies the future? Consider integrating Flowscape Solutions to help you make that transition a reality.
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