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Hybrid Support: Is Your Company Disability-Inclusive?

COVID-19 changed many things for employers and employees. The impact of remote work is undeniable. Software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom have become de facto conference rooms, and commuting time has shrunk to a few minutes. However, a new study by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation found that employers forced workers with disabilities to come back to work in the office or take on unfavorable working arrangements. The report suggests that employers must make the workplace inclusive for the disabled if they wish to be successful. In this article at ZDNet, Owen Hughes sheds light on the research report and highlights why organizations must enable disability-inclusive hybrid support.

Hybrid Support: What Does the Study Say?

The Work Foundation study explores the experience of workers with disabilities in remote and hybrid work before and during the pandemic. So, what does the study emphasize? “Just 52.7% of disabled people are employed, compared with 81% of people without disabilities. A key driver of the disability employment gap is workplace inflexibility,” says Hughes while pointing at the Work Foundation study. Here are some key highlights of the survey:

85% of survey respondents underlined the clear benefits of working from home, including having more autonomy and control over when and how they work. They also said that remote work allowed them to manage their health and well-being better.People with autism and other conditions reported that working from home allowed them to control lighting and noise levels, which is challenging in an office.Many differently-abled workers said if their employer fails to provide hybrid support, it would negatively impact their physical or mental health.The report concluded that the support for workers with physical inconvenience is patchy since the switch to remote working. Respondents reported having experienced isolation and alienation. Some workers with disabilities pointed out that organizations refused additional support or equipment requests.

The Changing Narrative of Hybrid Working

Flexible work has always been viewed as a privilege to be earned. Sometimes, it is also translated to ‘lack of career ambitions.’ The pandemic has shown that assumptions about flexible working are wrong. The study emphasizes that an authentic, inclusive culture is about proactively handling the barriers differently-abled people face throughout their professional lives. Hybrid support may be part of that. Employers must not overlook accessibility to make flexible working and hybrid support a success.

To read the original article, click on https://www.zdnet.com/article/hybrid-working-will-fail-if-employers-keep-ignoring-the-needs-of-disabled-workers/.

The post Hybrid Support: Is Your Company Disability-Inclusive? appeared first on AITS CAI’s Accelerating IT Success.

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