ADHD in the workplace

ADHD Awareness Month 2019

Experts claim 25-40% of adults with ADHD have a co-existing anxiety disorder and that up to 70% of those diagnosed with ADHD will be treated for depression at some point in their lives.

 

This October, the world acknowledges ADHD Awareness Month - a month-long awareness campaign aimed at celebrating the progress made in ADHD education and advocacy and raising awareness about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

 

In recognition of ADHD Awareness Month 2019, we have listed several suggestions on how to support employees living with ADHD.

 

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work performance, low self-esteem, and other problems.

 

Signs & symptoms

Due to the lack of research on adults with ADHD, symptoms can be difficult to define. However, specialists have found many common personality traits between adults living with ADHD. If left unmanaged, many of these traits can negatively impact on a person’s work performance, such as:

- Carelessness and lack of attention to detail

- Poor organisational skills

- Inability to focus or prioritise

- Mood swings, irritability and a quick temper

 

While the above symptoms can make it difficult for employees with ADHD to thrive at work, there are several adjustments that employers can provide to help support their team members:

 

Manage distractions

Workplaces can offer many distractions for employees, such as noisy co-workers, access to the internet and gatherings in communal areas. Couple this with the natural pressure that work can bring, adults with ADHD are more likely to struggle.

 

To help reduce these distractions, ensure that you; close any nearby doors to block out loud noises, encourage a tidy workspace to avoid clutter and relocate the employee to a quieter location to keep distractions to a minimum.

 

Attention to detail

As short attention spans are common in adults with ADHD, it is a good idea to break down tasks and projects into manageable pieces that can be achieved over time.

 

Also, to help support their time management skills, you could provide employees with a voice recorder to allow them to catch up with any important information they might miss during the day.

 

Be active

While children suffering from hyperactivity might show their symptoms more openly, employees with ADHD may hide a sense of restlessness and edginess, resulting in them finding it difficult to settle down or relax.

 

To combat these effects, we suggest you; encourage them to schedule frequent breaks throughout the day, walk to co-workers instead of calling or emailing them and consider investing in standing workstations to help reduce any physical and emotional tension.

 

While there are challenges associated with supporting an employee with ADHD, there are many benefits as well. Employees with ADHD often have increased creativity and intelligence levels and can be an invaluable asset to any organisation, especially in roles where creative flair and problem-solving are key skills.

 

 

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

UK: 0844 892 2493

ROI: 01886 0324

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