I have some good news for you, some really good news for you, and some really really bad news for you.
The good news is that ADHD is the most common mental health condition. The really good news is that it is the most treatable. With some small accommodations you can substantially improve your productivity and focus. If you have ADHD, you may be feeling overwhelmed with your work and home responsibilities.
The really really bad news is that eventhough ADHD is so easily treatable and managed, the ADHD awareness and understanding among health professionals in the UK is not that great. ADHD awareness among employers is really poor, and there is a lot of ignorance surrounding ADHD.
Under the Equality Act 2010, if you are an employee with ADHD, you may be considered to have a disability if your condition has a “substantial” and “long-term” negative effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This means that if you feel that your ADHD is getting in the way of your work productivity and focus, your employer is legally bound to accommodate your needs. Unfortuntely, judging the current understanding about ADHD in the workplace I actually discourage my clients from disclosing their ADHD to their employers. There are other ways that I encourage my clients to do this.
Find out more about ADHD here.
What you may need at work to improve your work performance with your ADHD
If you are struggling with your ADHD, it can be surprisingly easy to improve your work performance. You need to work at a job that focuses on your strengths, not that emphasises your weaknesses. If you have ADHD then jobs that are boring or low interest are a death sentence for you. You need a job that provides flexible work hours, and varied work settings. You need to be able to take home work with you. A 9-5 job may be mental torture for you. Your employer needs to give you a flexible start and end time, so you are not overwhelmed with panic when you arrive late to work. You may need some background noise in order to focus. A silent office, with the employees silently and efficiently doing their work, may well likely send you over the edge! You need opportunities for movement during your day.
If you are a mum with ADHD, here are some simple accommodations
You are most likely juggling so many balls, and dropping quite a few. The overwhelm, distraction and lack of focus can be crippling. Ask your employer if you can have a couple of days to work from home. You will gain from project based work rather than working a regular 9-5 job. Find out more here.
Simple modifications to your work environment
You may need some useful technology, such as dragon dictate, clear analogue clocks (that work) in every room, visual wall charts and planners. The timetimer is an invaluable tool to help with motivation and focus. You may need either noise cancelling headphones, or listening to music to cancel out distractions. Your own work space may be a help. Large computer screens or even two screens so you have all the information to hand at once. A buddy/mentor system will work well, as some 121 time management tools.
Here are some of your top ADHD strengths
This may sound so obvious, but it bears mentioning. Your employer needs to play in to your strengths, and not assign you tasks that play in or emphasis your weaknesses.
- You have creative ideas, and you think out of the box
- You are honest and truthful to a fault
- You are a great leader and perspective taker
- If you believe in a course of action, you can act spontaneously
- You are willing to take risks when you believe in the truth of your actions
- You can hyper-focus and work in sprints rather than marathons
- Short-term goals excite you
- You have great eye for detail
- You “hover” over your environment and see things that others don’t see
I can support you and your employer in accessing your potential with your ADHD. Contact me here and sign up for your FREE no obligation Discovery call today.
I am passionate about advocating for better accommoations for adults with ADHD in the workplace.
Come and meet myself and other like minded women at the next ADHD Women in Business Network event, the first such event in the UK.