If you want to create a business that has diverse ideas, you need to encourage a diverse range of people that your company is the one that they want to work for. In order to do that, it’s essential that you make your office space as accessible as possible.
By making your office space more accessible, you will ensure that there are no barriers to any talented people from feeling at home either working in or visiting your office.
Wide corridors and space between desks
A simple starting point when thinking about inclusion in the workplace is ensuring that people can easily navigate their way around your office.
Some things to think about are:
- How wide are the spaces between desks? Are they wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair?
- Could someone who was physically impaired easily make their way from the entrance of your building to the top floor?
- Are corridors wide enough to accommodate people with physical disabilities?
When you’re thinking about this, it’s also worth thinking about people with other disabilities. For example, could someone who was visually impaired easily navigate their way from one place to the other, or could you help them by making signage more visible or including braille instructions?
When thinking about doors, it’s important that you ensure that they are wide enough for everyone to get through. It’s also important to think about whether everyone is able to open and close your doors.
You can purchase automatic sliding door systems which will open doors automatically for people as they approach, which can go a long way towards making your office space more accessible.
It’s well worth investing in assistive technology for people to help them as they go about their work. For example, screen readers will allow people who are visually impaired or who have dyslexia to more easily read and understand information from a computer, which they might otherwise find difficult.
Invest in education and training
One of the most powerful ways to make your workplace accessible is to invest in training so that the people working in it understand the different needs that people may have, and they make it a personal goal to be accommodating.
Consider inviting speakers from charitable organizations to visit your workplace and give presentations and training, as this interaction will prompt discussions as well as provide education.
Encourage an open dialogue
Making your workplace more accessible is an ongoing task; as you learn more and become more aware of the needs of different people in your team, you will likely realize more and more ways that you can improve things.
The most important thing you can do is to keep asking the following question of your team: how can we make the workplace more accessible for you? If it becomes apparent that you care about these issues, then people are more likely to get into a dialogue and bring their ideas for change to you.