October isn't just about pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters – it's also Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month, and this past month we've been on a journey to create a more inclusive, neurodivergent-friendly workplace for our incredible team of Localitos.
We loved to hear that for many, their ADHD was a Superpower! 🚀 That ADHD isn’t just a challenge; it's a unique perspective that can bring innovation and creativity to any project or idea. We've learned that embracing the unique strengths of our Localitos with ADHD means that both that individual and our team can soar to new heights together. But we also acknowledge the unique challenges that may arise. We understand that staying on track in a remote work environment, managing distractions, and maintaining productivity can be complex for our Localitos with ADHD or other neuro-differences. That's why we've implemented several initiatives to create a more neurodivergent-friendly workplace.
Here are a few insights and tips from our journey:
📔 Journals, to-do’s and checklists are a great way to keep track of where you are at and what needs to be actioned. They also help to get those great ideas or less exciting tasks out of your head and into action.
⏱Timers, reminders and notifications are often useful alongside checklists to keep the ADHD mind focused and limit the likelihood of losing track and wandering onto another topic.
⏳ Setting deadlines and prioritizing, though particularly difficult to master in a startup environment, are an excellent way to create a sense of urgency for the brain. Otherwise the task will more than likely be thrown to the bottom of the pile.
To create an environment where our Localitos can truly thrive, we've implemented several initiatives based on ideas & conversations with our ADHD- neurodivergent superheroes that we hope will contribute to making our workplace more neurodivergent-friendly.
Unlocking the Power of Neurodiversity 🌈
🧠 Deep Focus Work: We understand the importance of deep focus, so we've introduced hour-long sessions where Localitos can immerse themselves in their work without distractions — empowering them to leverage their ADHD superpower. We also encourage Deep Focus Wednesdays, where we avoid scheduling internal meetings on Wednesdays so that the team can put their noise-canceling headphones on, set the Pomodoro timer, and hit hyper-focus mode.
📚 Lounge & Learn Sessions: We've (re)introduced our Lounge & Learn sessions, and the latest session was incredible. Volunteers shared with the team their insights and personal experiences with ADHD — either being diagnosed themselves or living with someone with ADHD. This Lounge & Learn held a space for us to become more aware and empathetic about their unique perspectives and begin to consider how we can be more inclusive in our ways of remote working.
🗃Resource Compilation: We've put together a treasure trove of resources and tools available to all Localitos and people managers. From project & time management tools to help us stay on track, to links to our employee benefit partner nilo.health, including meditation sessions, self-led programs, daily activities, and even access to private, confidential sessions with psychologists specializing in neurodiversity. This empowers our Localitos to incorporate positive practices into their daily routines, boosting their overall wellbeing and helping them reach their full potential.
🕒 Flexible Work Hours: We're proud to offer remote, flexible working hours. We recognize that not everyone thrives on a typical 9-to-6 schedule. By accommodating variations in work hours, and championing output over hours completed, we help Localitos with ADHD plan their schedules during their most productive times, enhancing their performance and reducing stress.
One of the Localyze key core values is Growing with Purpose, which, in this case, we see as our journey of continuous improvement, always learning, and growing together. In celebrating ADHD Awareness Month, we're not just raising awareness; together, we're actively making changes that promote equity in the workspace so that every Localito can thrive. Let's continue to embrace our differences and turn them into strengths.
Let's keep this conversation going. What are your tips and tricks for making workplaces more neurodivergent-friendly? Share your thoughts in the comments on our LinkedIn post! 🙌