How to Create an Accessible Workplace
With equality being at the forefront of businesses’ consciousness for a while now, there has been a significant shift in how companies are redressing the balance. One of the main areas where organisations are trying to adapt is in creating workspaces for disabled employees and visitors.
To make adaptions in your own company, take a look at these ideas to help create an accessible working area.
Before you can begin to make changes around the office, it is worth thinking about why it is beneficial to make them. Firstly, creating accessible spaces will broaden your options in terms of talent. Making a few adjustments to the existing space can mean the difference between having three candidates and six to interview. Whether you are a manager of a small start-up or you work for a huge company, this can only be a good thing.
It is important to introduce training and workshops to inform and educate the team about equality in work. Building awareness is crucial to ensure all employees are aware of the importance of the company being accessible for all. Start as you mean to go on by creating accessible resources for all employees. This means you are thinking of the needs of every team member.
From ramps and handrails to breakout spaces and investment in employees’ overall well-being, there are many ways to adapt office spaces. Consider all types of disability when you are making changes to the workspace so that everyone can be made to feel welcome.
Run Through a Day
To see what needs adapting, walk through a day at the office. Think about every stage and make notes as you go. How will employees get here? It might be worth investing in company-owned transport, such as a wheelchair accessible vehicle like these from Allied Mobility. Is there enough disabled parking? When do they get to work? Perhaps there can be more spaces added.
Is there a ramp that could be added by the entrance? Where is the nearest lift? Could the room be reconfigured? Go through every stage like this, asking similar questions and coming up with potential solutions.
Another major consideration is the computer or other tech employees use. Investing in assistive technology is one of the most important ways to make sure disabled employees can do their jobs effectively. Speech recognition software, color-coded keyboards and customizable browsers can all go a long way towards making things easier.
The ways of creating an accessible workplace are changing all the time. As tech and office layout solutions are constantly updating and moving forward, so too can your approach to how you adapt your office. By starting with making some of the tweaks suggested above, you are going a long way to welcoming a lot of employees into a new, accessible space.
What updates are you considering for your workspace? Have you already got an idea of the adjustments you need to make or are you starting from scratch?