As an employer, it’s part of your job to give employees all the tools they need to thrive. Without these tools, it can lead to lower employee happiness, a toxic company culture, reduced productivity, and less revenue. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. Simple workplace accommodations can make a huge difference to how well someone can perform their role.
Let’s take a look at some workplace accommodations you could make to help your employees thrive.
Buy better equipment
The right equipment can dramatically change how well someone does their job.
The wrong type of laptop, a screen that’s too large or too small, a non-ergonomic mouse and keyboard, a desk at the wrong height, a chair with little to no support…all these things may sound small and inconsequential, but they can lead to physical pain, eye strain, and frustration.
My RSI—which has been dormant for about five years—recently returned because I stopped using my ergonomic mouse for a few days and didn’t use my trackpad properly. I’m now having to wear a thumb support as I type this. None of that would’ve happened if I’d just kept using my proper desk setup.
Obviously, that’s my own fault. But you decide what equipment your employees use. You can choose to buy the cheapest available, or you can pick equipment that will help employees’ current injuries and prevent future ones.
Offer more flexible hours
The traditional working hours of nine to five don’t actually have any scientific basis. They started back in the 1800s, then Henry Ford brought in the 40-hour workweek that we know so well.
However, some jobs don’t really need someone to work five days a week, or to be present during the usual hours of nine to five.
Some employees are more productive later in the day, or earlier in the day. Do you really want to miss out on employees’ most productive hours because of a rigid policy you’re doing just because that’s what everyone else does?
Parents often prefer more flexible hours as it makes it easier for them to take their children to school and pick them up at the end of the day. Whether they’re in the office or not, flexible hours gives them more time with their children. It also opens you up to a wider talent pool with less competition. It’s one of the simple workplace accommodations that can drive both recruitment and retention.
Experiment with four-day weeks
Some businesses are now trialing four-day work weeks while still paying employees for five days. It’s been suggested this can improve employee mental wellbeing and productivity.
I’ve spoken to people who work for companies with four-day weeks and have found that the fears some businesses have about it are often unfounded. In fact, many employees become more productive. It also improves employee experience and wellness.
I’m sure we’ve all seen it—people who don’t efficiently use their time at work because they don’t have enough work to fill their hours. So that employee ends up aimlessly scrolling on social media, distracting their colleagues, organizing unnecessary meetings, or even working on personal projects to fill their time.
This lack of work—which could be remedied by shorter hours—can lead to boredom and stress.
Shorter time constraints mean employees can be more motivated to get things done.
More time at home to spend with loved ones, work on hobbies, and just relax, also means they get to recharge. This can help employees feel more able to handle whatever their job throws at them.
Try a new software
There are lots of organizational programs out there designed to help us tackle our to-do lists.
Sometimes a program doesn’t fit with how we think, or we struggle with the interface. If an employee struggles with how you’re organizing things in an app like Trello, Asana, or TickTick, consider trying something else or changing how you use it. This will help them to better organize their own to-do list and get more done.
The same applies to social media scheduling apps, employee advocacy tools, and any other software you use. Just because it’s the tool that’s always been used, it doesn’t mean it’s still the best one for the job. Making workplace accommodations can be as simple as better orienting systems to the way your team works.
Adapt your training sessions
A training session that involves someone reading from a slide is going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Hint: it’s unlikely to be because of the content.
There’s no way you can offer a training session that works for everyone. It can help though to offer sessions in a variety of ways including written, video, and audio. This will ensure that you can reach as many employees as possible.
Making training more interactive with quizzes or activities will also help employees to understand the material. It will help them get the most out of a session, too.
Subscribe to industry publications
What industry publications could you subscribe to that would help your employees?
Industry publications are at the forefront of your industry for a reason. Giving employees access to those resources—free and paid—will help them to be aware of what’s happening and what’s coming up. This will give them the upper hand over competitors.
They also won’t need to use their own money to research the latest industry updates. This will save them crucial dollars as the cost of living continues to rise.
Workplace accommodations can include anything from a new chair to better training.
To find out what your employees need, ask them. Encourage them to come to you if something isn’t working for them.
If they feel dissatisfied because of small adaptations you can make, but feel like they can’t request those changes, it’s going to affect their productivity.
If you don’t tell them that they can approach you with these issues, it’s unlikely that they’ll bother. They’ll probably just leave instead, increasing your employee churn rate because of a basic problem.
On the other hand, if you encourage them to come to you, and make the workplace accommodations quickly, they’re more likely to feel supported and want to stay.
If you’re looking for a better way to connect with employees and keep the lines of communication open, check out Workrowd. Our one-stop platform makes it easy to give team members a voice, and distribute important communications on how to access various workplace accommodations. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.