How to spot a healthy, inclusive workplace

How to spot a healthy, inclusive workplace

With the COVID-19 pandemic still shifting the way we work, the eventual return to the office will see employers realise the importance of safe and comfortable work environments. 

Of particular interest is how employers and businesses can create inclusive and flexible workplaces for employees living with a health condition, injury, or disability.  
 
So what should job seekers be looking for when returning to or entering a new workspace? We've compiled a list of positive practices that workplaces can promote to ensure employees of all backgrounds feel safe, comfortable, and supported to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.  

Adjustments to the physical space 

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), employers are obliged to create adjustments that accommodate employees' disabilities and needs. This often means that changes to work processes, procedures, or the working environment allow employees with disabilities to undertake their work without being negatively impacted.  

In practice, this may mean changes to the physical workspace, such as modifying desks, creating extra space for assistive technologies, Auslan interpreting services, and providing modification equipment such as amplified phones, digital recorders, and speech recognition software.  

From a wider workplace perspective, creating adjustments may mean allowing greater flexibility in working hours or locations, or redistributing minor duties that can create a flow-on effect across the business.  

The overall workplace environment  

Employers can establish a more inclusive workplace during the recruitment process. Look out for businesses that encourage applicants with disabilities to apply - this may indicate that the workplace encourages equality and removes stigma surrounding the recruitment of people with additional needs.  

Many employers may take their inclusive recruitment processes one step further by promoting the organisation's acceptance for individuals with additional needs, those who require workplace adjustments, or people who are seeking flexible arrangements.  

Willingness to adapt and understand more about disabilities 
 
An inclusive workplace environment often starts at the top, with leadership and culture that is open to learning more about disabilities and welcoming employees of diverse backgrounds. This leads to a climate in which job seekers and employees feel a sense of openness and comfort to ask questions, clarify issues, or request changes that will improve their work output and satisfaction.  

 
Healthy, inclusive workplaces are out there. Many organisations are taking concrete steps to ensure their employees feel comfortable to do their jobs to the best of their ability.   

Jobedge partners with employers who offer jobs for people with disability or mental health conditions. We’d love to hear from you and help you find a job you love.  
 
For more help on reaching your job and career goals, visit jobedge.com.au or call 1300 598 528 to speak to a Jobedge Job Coach. 


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