Since 2020, working from home has become the norm for many jobs and businesses. However, little is known about how Autistic employees engage in remote work from their homes. Initial research has suggested that there are several barriers Autistic employees currently face in working remotely, including:
- Sensory overload from video calling
- Lack of accessible communication practices
- Increased stress with maintaining productivity and wellbeing.
As a result, effective and practical solutions are needed to address these barriers. Furthermore, knowledge about these barriers and solutions needs to be shared with employers and stakeholders alike.
“Navigating Working from Home for Autistic Employees” is a project that was created to increase knowledge about barriers faced by Autistic employees that are working remotely, and to offer some solutions. This resource is for everyone, and is particularly aimed for employers, Autistic employees and employment agencies. This project was funded by Ready, Willing & Able.
This project was inspired by the publication by Zolyomi et al., “The Needs of Autistic Adults in Video Calling.” Collaborators of this project include Autism Alliance of Canada, Microsoft Research, and the University of Washington. This project started in May 2021 and continued into May 2022. Autistic collaborators contributed to the conception, design, and the output of this project. There were regular feedback meetings. Together, the group discussed content and outputs (infographics and animation video) during all of the stages of conception and ensured that all materials were informed by evidence and fit promising practices for workplace accessibility.
We hope that this resource will help share promising practices for an inclusive remote work experience for Autistic employees by:
- Providing tips for Autistic people on navigating remote work.
- Informing employers and support workers about how to best support Autistic employees working from home.
Two resources were developed:
- An animation video which showcases the experiences of Autistic employees working from home.
- A series of infographics outlining recommendations on how to best support Autistic employees working from home.