Remote Work and People With Disabilities & Constraints
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Remote Work and People With Disabilities & Constraints

November 14, 2023 | Michael Warne

Remote Work and People With Disabilities & Constraints

The emergence of the new era of remote work has presented an array of exciting opportunities for individuals who previously faced barriers in committing to traditional office jobs. There is a wide spectrum of candidates who have previously fallen into this category – they range from people with any type of disability to mothers with young children to people from underdeveloped areas. The transformative shift in work dynamics that remote work has brought on benefits such individuals, providing them the flexibility to work from their own surroundings and yet be integrated with the mainstream workforce. The departure from the conventional 9-5 desk-bound routine allows them to tailor their work schedules to their specific needs. Whether these requirements revolve around mobility challenges or communication limitations, technology provides the tools to address these issues and level the playing field.

Given the above, forward-looking employers can now take easy, proactive steps to enhance inclusivity for such individuals in their organizations. This blog emphasizes how remote work provides companies with a fantastic opportunity to easily and swiftly access different types of talent that was hitherto unavailable to them. Companies can even utilize their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets to support such initiatives, enabling them to make a positive impact in this realm.

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It must be stated that such inclusivity is not just a way for companies to fulfill their social responsibility – its even great for their business. Study after study has shown that companies that practice such inclusivity also perform better as compared to others. To cite just one such study, in 2018, Accenture found that companies leading in disability inclusion generally tend to outperform their peers on several key metrics including revenue, net income and profit margins. It’ll be hard to find a better example of win-win than this!

How remote work helps drive inclusivity

There are many reasons that remote work has emerged as a pivotal solution in solving age old issues of inclusivity. They range from the physical to the neurological – as one thinks about them, it becomes clear that while the world got “forced” into remote working during Covid, this way of working was always a no-brainer as a way to bring such disadvantaged individuals into the workforce.

Here are some of the reasons remote work helps in inclusivity:

1. Various Ways of Communication

Face-to-face interactions can induce anxiety in individuals with disabilities. Neurodivergent people might encounter challenges in grasping social cues, leading to potential misunderstandings. In contrast, remote work relies on digital communication platforms, which offers several advantages.

The ability to read and contemplate messages at one’s own pace can enhance comprehension. Moreover, the absence of non-verbal cues can be a relief, particularly for individuals with physical disabilities, such as speech impediments, who may find verbal communication stressful. Typing out their thoughts can alleviate the pressure and facilitate smoother communication.

Furthermore, text-based communication makes the professional realm more accessible for individuals with speech or hearing disorders. They no longer need to worry about how to convey their thoughts to colleagues, as they can effortlessly convey their messages through written text.

2. Minimized Interruptions

Noisy environments and frequent social interactions can pose challenges for some individuals with different abilities. People’s brains function uniquely, and some may struggle to filter out nearby conversations, leading to distractions.

In situations where the noise becomes overwhelming, certain neurodivergent individuals might feel a sense of panic and sensory overload. Regrettably, this issue is challenging to address in a traditional office setting. Therefore, for those significantly impacted by such conditions, it might not have been a practical choice. Fortunately, remote work offers the advantage of allowing individuals to manage their own surroundings and control noise levels without disrupting others.

3. Eliminating the Requirement for Commuting

The necessity to travel can present a formidable hurdle for many individuals with diverse abilities. Tasks as commonplace as driving or using public transportation might appear straightforward to some, but for those with disabilities, these activities can be considerably more stressful.

Individuals with mobility challenges may rely on walking aids, such as wheelchairs or mobility scooters. These can be difficult to navigate, especially without assistance, causing both physical and emotional stress from the outset. Furthermore, the limited space available for wheelchair users on many buses can pose a significant obstacle. They may find themselves unable to board the bus they require if the designated spot is already occupied.

Neurodivergent individuals can also face challenges with public transportation. The multitude of potential complications, coupled with the noisy environment, can trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. This, in turn, can lead to a sense of burnout and overwhelm before they even reach their workplace.

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4. Adaptable Work Hours

Remote work typically offers increased flexibility in various aspects, and working hours are no exception. With the absence of constraints tied to office opening hours and a fixed location, the conventional 9-5 work structure is often eliminated.

A growing number of companies are now granting their employees the liberty to work according to their own schedules. This is as long as they continue to meet deadlines and maintain productivity. This flexibility allows for breaking the workday into more manageable segments. This enables individuals to take rest breaks without the pressure of time constraints. Additionally, it permits those with regular medication needs to attend to their medical requirements without feeling rushed.

Flexible hours can also be advantageous for those who struggle to concentrate during specific times of the day. Some may discover that they are more focused during the peace of the night or prefer to commence work in the early morning. Depending on the employer’s policies, remote work’s flexibility enables individuals to work at their most productive. This contributes to overall job satisfaction.

5. Facilitating the Use of Personal Tools and Assistive Devices

Working from home provides a personalized work environment, tailored to individual preferences. It differs from a generic office setup. Additionally, it means that the workspace doesn’t have to accommodate the needs of others. This allows control over factors like temperature, lighting, and noise levels.

In an office setting, utilizing accessibility aids related to remote work and people with disabilities can sometimes be intimidating for individuals with disabilities. It may draw unwarranted attention. This apprehension can even deter them from harnessing essential tools that are instrumental in improving their work performance.

Furthermore, conventional office seating may prove uncomfortable for individuals with disabilities. Sitting in a fixed position and using equipment not designed for their needs can present challenges. If they already have the necessary tools at home to facilitate effective work, travelling to a location where they feel uncomfortable can add unnecessary stress to their lives.

What companies should do

Today, many companies are actively seeking to create diverse workforces and accommodate individual needs, and more companies should emulate this as a strategy to fulfill their social obligations while also enhancing their businesses. Engaging with the right recruiters to explore available opportunities is a valuable step. Remote work platforms such as Tarmack offer a great channel to recruit such talent not only domestically but also around the world, giving companies are great option to get things going easily.

Companies can also create flexibility in the way they define their job requirements. Realistic approaches should be taken to find arrangements that work for the company and for such talent. It’s essential to note that not all individuals with disabilities need to immediately transition into full-time positions. Some such individuals may start part-time and gradually work towards full-time positions, allowing for a smoother transition.This is particularly crucial for those re-entering the workforce after an extended period of unemployment, as the adjustment can be challenging.


In conclusion, remote work emerges as a transformative solution that offers newfound opportunities and inclusivity to people with constraints. It allows such individuals to customize their work environment, manage their schedules, and access a more accessible and comfortable space. It empowers them to thrive in the modern workforce and is a big positive step towards greater workplace inclusivity and diversity. Companies can benefit strongly from this phenomenon as it helps them fulfill their social responsibilities while also enhancing their business goals. They should proactively use this opportunity as a launchpad to meaningfully increase inclusivity in their organizations and create a win-win for everyone involved.

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