The voices of employees with disabilities are heard, and workplaces have transitioned to accessible and inclusive workplaces, creating better workplaces for everyone.

FREMONT, CA: The past two years have witnessed numerous workplace transformations, and they are continuing. Workplaces are evolving throughout and beyond as companies face challenges brought on by the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Today, there are adjustments in how and where people work, reflected by managing remote learning for kids, responding to racial inequities, beginning discussions on employee welfare, health and safety at work, and recruiting and retention challenges.

Recent years have elevated the voices of employees with disabilities. Their reverberation has been loud and demanding, specifically on the topic of hybrid and remote work. Business leaders have adapted to operational and employee experience challenges and continue making the workplace work for everyone, especially those with disabilities. As a result, there will be new trends that have already emerged and further improvements beyond disability inclusion.

Hybrid and Remote Working

Remote and flexible work arrangements, which people with disabilities have demanded for decades, have become a reality. Employers who disagreed with this have opted for this as the only method of resuming work functions. Many companies easily and effectively shifted to online and remote work. The new normal of remote work is not only completely possible but also includes more people with disabilities in the labour force. Companies are now required to fine-tune hybrid and remote working strategies and policies as they will likely remain longer than expected.

More Focus on Mental Health

In the post-pandemic world, people are more stressed than ever before. Workers are anxious about their physical and mental health. In addition to these stressors, financial insecurity is also threatening, along with work-life balance becoming non-existent. Employers are offering free mental health resources and expanding paid mental health benefits. Online and in-person support has increased, and every employer has begun discussing mental health, making a critical step in ending stigma. Employees with disabilities will continue to advance workplace mental health practices, and while creating a safe workplace, they will strengthen knowledge around best-in-class workplace mental health strategies.

Expanding Caregiver Benefits

The pandemic taught the need for employers to offer better caregiver benefits, providing support, services, and additional time off to assist with caregiving. An optimal practice is a new policy allowing up to four weeks off for caregiving. However, the real game-changer is that time can be taken in hourly increments to attend doctors’ appointments, pick up sick children, or involve in caregiving. Employers will continue to integrate such initiatives and expand caregiver benefits. This is exciting news for all workers, especially a happy one for family members with disabilities.

Employee Power

Great Resignation, a significant effect of the pandemic, needs a great re-evaluation. Companies believed people did not want to work and later identified that the pandemic, a life-altering event, re-evaluated priorities and how people wanted to work. As people opted to move from companies that did not heed their concerns, it showed their power. As a result, new ways of working will evolve as employees with disabilities create workplaces that work for all employees and employers begin to listen to staff's issues.