Welcome to Remote ADA Workplace Accommodation Secrets for employers and people with disabilities and medical conditions! I am Sheryl Ellis, ADA Expert, HR Consultant, and author of Making It Work: Managing Your Health Condition Through ADA Workplace Accommodations.
Flexible and remote work arrangements are a win-win for employers and qualified employees with or without disabilities and medical conditions. It has opened up opportunities and benefits for both parties.
Employers who provide flexible and remote work arrangements have access to a larger group of qualified workers. Working remotely has many advantages for people with disabilities. It allows them to create a tailor-made workspace taking into consideration all their needs, which is not always possible in a physical office.
In the past, qualified employees with disabilities and medical conditions faced physical barriers and other limitations faced at traditional worksites such as :
Inaccessible buildings and bathrooms;
An exacerbation of their disability or medical condition due to work environment issues such as temperature and lighting;
Transportation and commute challenges; or
Being at an increased risk of contracting a severe illness from the different variations of COVID or the Flu.
New and emerging innovative technologies like Digital Technology platforms are one of the biggest reasons employers can offer flexible and remote work arrangements more than ever. Digital Technology Platforms, an online space where exchange happens between the producers of products, services, customers, and other information, has allowed employees to connect no matter where they are located .
Employers have also seen reduced business expenses and other benefits in many business areas when they can implement flexible and remote work arrangements such as the following: :
A reduction in operating costs such as rent, utilities, and furniture costs because they do not need a permanent workspace for the employee at the worksite;
A reduction in utility costs such as lighting and climate control;
A more comprehensive selection of individuals who have the specialized skills they need if they do not need to hire locally; or
Employees need less time off because they can continue working while under the weather or have a minor cold without being contagious to other workers.
Similarly, qualified employees with a disability and medical conditions who can perform their primary functions flexible or remote work arrangements have also seen reductions in personal expenses such as commuting costs, professional work clothing, and caregiver expenses. They can also have a better work-life balance because they can better manage their health and personal life while successfully performing their job functions .
Many jobs being done remotely include some of the following :
Customer Service Representatives;
Writer and Editor;
Software and Database Engineer;
Sales Representative; or
Employers need to start evaluating what jobs they think could offer through a flexible or remote work arrangement, and qualified individuals need to consider what job functions they can perform remotely.
My next video and accompanying article will review key factors that both employers and qualified employees with medical conditions and disabilities need to consider when requesting flexible or remote work as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
Please like and subscribe to my channel for more information on ADA Workplace Accommodation Secrets. Below are products that have helped me or other employees with disabilities and medical conditions be more effective in their job while working remotely.
Making It Work is for people with disabilities and medical conditions that affect them at work. It is also referenced by employers, human resources, vocational rehabilitation specialists, healthcare professionals, attorneys, and advocates. I have over 25 years of experience in human resources. I am a recognized expert in Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a reminder that I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice.