If creating a more inclusive work environment is one of your company goals, you may be looking to create a neurodiverse-friendly office space. In this guide, we’re focusing on how Sound Masking can help your neurodivergent employees.
Neurodivergent is an umbrella term for people who aren’t neurotypical. The term includes autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia and Tourette syndrome, among others.
Approximately 15% of people in the UK are neurodivergent. Behaviour masking and widespread under-diagnosis means that more than half of those who are considered neurodiverse don’t even know it.
Accommodating neurodiverse people can provide a huge advantage for employers looking to retain talent. The current focus has predominantly been placed on arranging inclusive policies, programs and procedures – but progressive employers should recognise that workplace design should also play a part.
Often being more sensitive to sensory stimuli, people with autism can become particularly distracted and uncomfortable from everyday sounds. That’s where Sound Masking can help.
How Can Sound Masking Support Your Neurodiverse Employees?
Neurodivergent people are often more sensitive to sensory stimuli, including noises.
Sound Masking creates a more comfortable acoustic environment for everyone and helps your neurodivergent employees to thrive.
Sound Masking creates a constant ambient sound which is operated at a low level, typically somewhere around 45dBA and sounds like air movement. This will be a benefit for people who have neurodivergence, as everyday sounds blend into the background and become less disabling or distracting.
Can Sound Masking Help Misophonia?
There are also specific noise sensitivity conditions, such as misophonia and phonophobia, which are closely related within the bracket of neurodivergent.
Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses, such as anger or disgust. According to Specsavers, nearly one in five people have misophonia.
Common triggering noises include sniffing, heavy breathing, yawning or chewing. Even pen clicks or the opening of plastic food wrappers can trigger discomfort.
All of these sounds are common in the open-plan office and can make the workplace an uncomfortable and distracting sensory environment for people with misophonia.
Sound Masking can help soften these everyday noises, fading them into the background or even making them imperceptible.
Other Environmental Conditions
Thermal conditions and light levels are also important environmental conditions to consider for neurodivergent individuals. People who are autistic can also be more sensitive to light, so monitoring light levels is also important.
An increasingly neurodiverse workforce means that non-progressive employers could be missing out on retaining or attracting additional talents of those who think differently.
By supporting employees who are neurodiverse, you can improve productivity and overall wellbeing in the workplace. You can also increase employee retention and encourage more neurodiverse individuals to join your workforce and contribute new perspectives and talent.
Neurodiverse thinkers often possess exceptional talents including innovative thinking, creative storytelling, empathy, design thinking, pattern recognition, coding and problem solving.
Contact Remark Group today to learn more about Sound Masking Installations for your business. Talk to us about creating a more inclusive work environment for your neurodivergent employees today.