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Neurodiversity in the office and why it’s important


We’re a nation that’s built most of our freedom status on the promotion of equality in our diversity. On attempting to embrace race and religion, in all forms, and in all instances, and not discriminating when it comes to business and the opportunities for the candidates who are qualified for the right roles.

While there are still strides and improvements to be made, generally, we’re a society that goes the distance in avoiding discrimination.

 But there is another sector of the human condition that lacks somewhat, when it comes to thinking about the diversity therein, and the import of total acceptance and the honouring of it.

That sector is neurodiversity in the workplace.

What is neurodiversity?

 So yes, we’re no doubt all familiar with the diversity of our rainbow nation in terms of race, culture and creed, but we may not all be versed in the intricacies of the ‘neuro’ prefix when added to the term, ‘diversity.’

Neurodiversity refers to the very different ways employed by the human brain when regarding certain mental functions like learning, being social, attention to detail, mood  – to name just a few.

Put simply, neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain works and interprets information, as opposed to neurotypical thinking – the thinking and processing by the brain that aligns to what is generally defined as ‘normal.’

 Neurodiversity and its importance in business

 To unpack even more, neurodivergence includes a myriad atypical ways of thinking and processing – including, attention deficit disorder, autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Now, in some cases, many of these ways of thinking have attached to them some weighty identity misconceptions. Many lay-people see them as disorders, as pathological, and therefore as disabilities.

But progressive neuroscience and psychological pioneering has done much to reveal the simple fact that those that think atypically are simply that, different thinkers, and in no way are hindered, incapable, or disabled.

 For example – dyslexia & autism: different ways of thinking, for better business

 To build on these points, let’s look at dyslexia and autism, in particular, and the place of these examples of neurodiversity, in a progressive workplace that embraces difference:

 Dyslexia

 Dyslexia, through schoolyard conditioning, has been long seen as a hindrance – often, with those that display it, after being asked, admitting feelings of inadequacy when it comes to matters of orthography – the study and working with letters and words.

And while that feature of this neurodiversity may be one to overcome, the fact of the matter is that many dyslexic people exhibit an overcompensation in other areas of thought, areas like intelligence and creativity (often, in fact, displaying above average ability here), problem solving and reasoning.

All vital skills to offer any forward-thinking business.

 Autism

 Again, many a level of stigma can be attributed to this way of thinking – and many in business still do.

The fact of the matter is, while some that are on the spectrum struggle in areas of social norms, their compensation lies in remarkable levels of compassion, and an uncanny ability to attribute rule-based thinking and extraordinary levels of organisation to all tasks.

What neurodiversity is and why companies should embrace it

 With just these two examples of neurodiversity, it’s very easy to realise that they’re certainly not disorders, they’re simply different – and often better – ways that some individuals may think.

These skills can be used by businesses, to promote deeper thinking, heightened creativity and levels of organisation sometimes unheard of.

It’s an edge to business that can bring new levels of learning to neurodiverse thinkers and neurotypical thinkers, alike – not just in your staff contingent, but in all levels of leadership, too.

 Fundamentally, it boils down to that suffix – diversity. Diversity, when embraced and promoted allows for the burgeoning and nurturing of talent unforeseen. Talent like: creativity, uniqueness, innovation, competitiveness, alternative thought and unmatched problem-solving.

It’s so very easy to see, then, that neurodiversity is vital, and must be brought into your business – growth, both personal and organisational for your people and your business, is inevitable.

At Giant Leap, we’re the workspace specialists. We bring out the best in your people by advising on interiors that inspire efficiency and innovation.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can transform and streamline your business.