Adult ADHD at workAdults with ADHD experience employment impairments at every level; from the initial job search, to the interview and then during the employment itself. People with Attention Deficit Disorder are more likely to be have poor job performance, lower occupational status, less job stability and absenteeism. Men and women with attention deficit disorder earn less money, and are more likely to be unemployed.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has at times been portrayed as advantageous from a work perspective, as in the Economist, "in praise of misfits". This may be so in certain sectors where
This works for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder adults at the entry level of the IT industry. The physical, social and cultural environment help overcome functional limitations of adult ADD. However, the lack of focus, disorganisation and procrastination become evident when they are promoted in the organisation. It is at this mid-career stage that the adult with Attention Deficit Disorder seeks our help.
- Hyperactivity and distractability find an outlet in the need to multi-task with multiple apps at a time.
- Impulsivity manifests as risk taking and an apparent fearlessness.
ADHD friendly workplace adjustments
|Inattention and impulsivity||Quieter room/positioning in office |
Headphones to reduce distractions
Regular supervision to maintain course
Buddy system to maintain stimulation
|Hyperactivity/ restlessness||Allow productive movements at work |
Structure breaks in long meetings
|Provide beepers/alarms, structured notes |
Regular supervision with feedback, mentoring
Delegate tedious tasks
Regularly introduce change
Break down targets and goals
Supplement verbal information with written material
Adult ADHD is a treatable medical condition. Medication to correct the underlying neurochemical imbalance is the cornerstone of treatment for ADHD adults. The adverse impact of adult ADHD is experienced by the employee and the organisation. At the organisational level, workplace adjustments can provide a safe nidus for the ADHD adult to function effectively. At the individual level treatment can help reduce the associated emotional problems and absenteeism of adult ADHD.
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