Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace
10 Nov 2023 • People & Culture
We at Sofokus are proud to be a place where every employee has the opportunity to express their strengths and diversity and want to keep on improving our inclusion. One important step in this journey was last month’s Soforum event, which addressed neurodiversity and specifically ADHD openly and courageously.
What do we mean by neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to how people perceive the world in different ways. It emphasises that neurological differences, such as autism and ADHD, are part of natural human diversity, not disorders to be fixed. At Sofokus, we believe that these differences are an asset that enriches our organisation.
A presentation on ADHD led to an open dialog
A Sofokus employee, who lives with ADHD, made a brave decision to share their experiences and knowledge about ADHD at Sofokus’ monthly learning event, Soforum. This open and honest presentation was an important step towards a better understanding and appreciation of neurodiversity in our organisation.
In their presentation, our colleague highlighted that ADHD is not just a ” concentration difficulty” but a complex neurobiological condition that affects cognitive processes, impulsivity and attentiveness. They also shared their coping strategies and stressed that ADHD can also have positive effects, such as creativity and innovation. A person with ADHD may also be capable of a kind of “hyperfocus”, which allows them to work on one thing for hours at a time without losing concentration or interest.
Some of the lessons from our Soforum:
- There are three types of ADHD: hyperactive-impulsive form, inattentive form and combined form
- Inattentive ADHD may manifest as depression and/or anxiety.
- Advantages of ADHD include creativity, enthusiasm, problem solving, multitasking and hyperfocus
- Various prioritisation tools/apps and to-do lists can help people with ADHD to structure and remember things
Learning from neurodiversity
The ADHD presentation at Soforum was not only an educational package, but also provided new perspectives and sparked interesting discussions. Understanding ADHD was just a prelude to a broader discussion on neurodiversity and its benefits for the diversity of our organisation.
One lesson that emerged was that ADHD comes in many forms. The presentation and discussions revealed that ADHD comes in different forms, including the hyperactive-impulsive form, the inattentive form, and the combined form. This diversity highlights the importance of understanding that one size does not fit all and individual approaches are needed.
Another important lesson was that untreated ADHD can manifest as depression and/or anxiety. This is notable because it can help us understand why some colleagues may experience certain challenges and need extra support. This knowledge will help us to create an environment that supports all our employees to the best of our ability.
And what can we learn about the benefits of ADHD? The presentation highlighted that ADHD can have positive effects like increased creativity, enthusiasm, problem solving, multitasking and hyperfocus. People with ADHD may be able to immerse themselves in a task for hours at a time without losing concentration or interest. This can be valuable in solving complex problems and creating innovations.
Finally, the discussions at Soforum highlighted a range of tools and approaches that can help people with ADHD to structure and remember things. Prioritisation tools, various apps and to-do lists are examples of practical solutions that can help manage tasks.
We continue our journey towards understanding neurodiversity
The presentation on ADHD at Soforum was just the beginning of a broader journey towards understanding and embracing neurodiversity at Sofokus. We are not experts in the field and are still learning to understand the richness of neurodiversity and the challenges and opportunities that come with it. We are committed to continuing on this journey and to making our organisation a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses.
We are proud that our own employees have paved the way for an open dialogue about neurodiversity, and we look forward to future conversations where we can learn and grow together. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey, and we hope to continue to promote shared understanding and inclusion in the future.