Due to the current Covid-19 virus, this is having a massive impact on the disability sector. This is because people with a vulnerability eg an assistance guide dog, are not receiving the help due to the virus, for example, some people are being refused entry to certain shops due to fear of them not being able to social distance and spreading the virus, which is also having a major impact on work and opportunities.
This is discriminatory.
This virus has made people think more about working from home. This can be a great advantage to people with disabilities as this, for example, reduces travel time and potential accessibility issues. This I feel may mean that businesses may not need to look initially to adapt their working environment as people can be working at home more. For people with additional needs, the environment around them is already set up for their needs and therefore they will not need to put into place as much to make it an accessible and friendly environment., For someone with a visual impairment, for example, we will not have to spend as much time planning routes and travelling or spend as much money on travel and therefore will be saving money for the company which can be reinvested elsewhere.
So, in summary, the advantages are you are saving money, saving on travel, not putting pressure on the transport sector, and saving time not having to pre-plan every element of a route to get to meetings etc. Working from home cuts down massively on travel time and therefore makes people more productive as they have more time.
Some people may argue that working from home may mean that you do not get a good work-life balance. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have a structure in place that benefits the things you must do in life such as looking after children with also carrying out the work tasks needed. Working from home may also impact on your mental health as you are interacting less with others and may affect productivity.
It is important to set out a plan and structure for each day that details what you will be doing and when and the hours you will work each day and stick to this. It is important not to give up and to speak to your manager if you need any help and support so that they can put something in place to help. There is a variety of ways to look after your own mental health. You could use an app to speak to someone you could use different resources such as stress balls and do relaxing activities. If this does not work, you could speak to your GP to get help and support it. If you feel the home is not appropriate for work, then it is important to look at the options with your employer that can support you with this and explore working elsewhere.
In summary, I feel that working from home can have massive advantages for people with additional needs as it can reduce outgoings. However, we need to ensure the infrastructure is in place to enable this to happen such as wifi that isn’t overloaded and that the connection speed is adequate to ensure it doesn’t overload the network and have the adverse effect of reducing productivity. As more people work from home this may mean that funding can be rerouted from other budgets to support this.