Making your office accessible will lead to greater productivity and staff retention. Who doesn’t want that?
Technology has come a long way in a very short time. Fifty years ago we were turning a dial to make a phone call. Now we can ask our smart phone to call a number and, a few seconds later, we are connected.
These leaps and bounds in technology have given people with disability a new voice and has allowed offices to become more accessible. Embracing this new technology and making some accessibility changes invites a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Proven to increase productivity and retention rates, these changes to your office are great for everyone. AimBig can help you make the changes that matter and can run training courses to educate your workforce. Communication and knowledge are the keys to a successful, safe and inclusive workplace.
Let’s look at how to succeed and thrive in this new inclusive world.
Better safe than sorry
Safety in the accessible workplace isn’t just about following rules. It’s in every worker’s interest to feel safe, supported and acknowledged. Whether it’s the footballer who’s on crutches for a few weeks or the employee using a wheelchair, small changes, like the following, can make a big difference:
- Minimise the use of floor mats or thick pile carpet. Mats are a slipping hazard and thick carpet is not wheelchair friendly.
- Are your doors heavy or close too fast? Are they wide enough? If you are guiding a visually impaired person, can you both fit through the doorway?
- Are all the aisles between desks wide and obstacle free? Will an electric wheelchair turn a corner easily?
- Are all the chairs on wheels? If someone doesn’t put their chair back under the desk, can they be moved out of the way easily.
- Are your desks height adjustable? Small changes make huge improvements.
Technology is opening new doors
Apple has been leading the way in accessible technology, the others are now catching up – proving that accessibility is the way of the future. Embracing this technology encourages diversity.
For the visually impaired and older workers, there are screen readers, large screens and keyboards, and special screen magnifiers. Voice recognition software can be used by the visually impaired and slow typers.
Assistive Technology devices can also allow a non-verbal worker to speak. Everyday there is new software and technology emerging that is making the transition to diversity easier in the workplace.
Access all areas
Ensuring your workplace has no hidden boundaries is critical to successful inclusion. Are your website and other online resources fully accessible? Do all your documents, business cards and presentations represent your diverse workforce?
Communication and training are key to the success of diversity in the workplace. It may take some time for everyone to stop patting the guide dog while he’s working, but everyone wins when diversity is embraced rather than feared.
We can guide you through the process and offer ongoing support. Becoming a diverse and inclusive workplace is a great choice for your business, and your workforce.