Tech at Work, Work at Home: Inclusion and Access in the Workplace - Hearing and Speech Agency

Tech at Work, Work at Home: Inclusion and Access in the Workplace

As the business world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, workplaces have adapted to include technology guidelines and work-from-home policies. From how we represent our employers online to how we use work-issued devices, there’s no denying that tech has become both an asset and challenge at work.

One often-overlooked benefit of technology is its ability to increase access and inclusion at work. By restricting hiring to only those who are able to work in-person, 40 hours a week, at one location, employers can miss out on many excellent hires who may have physical disabilities, communication differences, or are neurodiverse. For these potential rockstar employees, technology and remote work can create an inclusive working environment that benefits both employer and employees.

Consider, for example, an employee or potential hire with sensory sensitivities. The flickering of fluorescent lights or noise of an open workspace can cause stress and anxiety, affecting work productivity. By offering this individual a work-from-home schedule a few days a week, employers may see increased productivity and efficacy due to decreased stress and pressure from the office environment. With a clear policy and plan for including remote workers in team culture, company leadership can harness each individual’s strengths while reducing their challenges.

Furthermore, technology can bridge gaps between employees with communication differences. From Skype’s new live-captioning feature to real-time transcription and language translation, employees with different native languages and communication styles can communicate clearly and easily. Even sending a chat message, the digital version of passing a note, can be simpler and easier than calling a coworker, even without communication challenges.

As a manager or employer, you can leverage a variety of tech tools to create an inclusive workplace and reach a wider range of job candidates. As an employee, you can advocate for more inclusive tech and remote-work practices. It’s research-based, it’s inclusive, and it can improve team morale!

If you want to learn more about workplace access and inclusion, HASA can help! Contact us at 410-318-6780 or email hasa@hasa.org.

HASAHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780