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How employers can support someone with ADHD - from someone who has it


Part of our commitment to the planet is supporting the diverse, brilliant brains that inhabit it.

October marks ADHD Awareness Month, a full 31 days of learning from and listening to the minds that make up a predicted 4-5% of our global adult population.

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, isn’t a phrase new to our vocabulary, however the associations that we - specifically, businesses - have with the word “inclusivity” are changing. Tackling the taboo means prioritising workspaces that enable everyone to flourish, and it’s an educative journey we’ve been on ourselves.

One of the best ways to find out what staff actually need - particularly ADHD-ers - is to hear things from their perspective (provided they’re comfortable to share). That’s why we sat down with our Content Writer, Enna, to understand how she came to terms with her diagnosis, and how it’s helped her to communicate her needs as a Hattrick-er.

Enna pic 1

Q1. Has your diagnosis made navigating the workplace easier?

“It’s helped massively. When I was first diagnosed, the thought of approaching the topic with my employer was incredibly nerve wracking, but it turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done.

Although some people may prefer to go without the “label”, I found that it gave me the words to communicate my needs - something I’d struggled to articulate for such a long time. By setting some time aside for a quick, informal chat with my manager, we were able to make small, realistic adjustments to my working day, which made everything so much easier.”

Enna working pic 2

Q2. Do you have any specific routines or tools that help you stay organised and focused on your tasks during the workday?

“I used to think that making a to-do list at the start of the day would be the most beneficial, but getting this prepped the night before has been a lifesaver.

It brings back a sense of organisation (which is something I can struggle with), and it means I can get my head down as soon as I walk through the door. I’m also very easily distracted, so any tool which helps me to tune out - like my earphones - allows me to regain focus. For moments when I do find my mind wandering, or if I’m struggling to kickstart a piece of content, movement really helps. That might mean shifting to another desk, or taking myself outside for a few moments.”

Enna pic 4

Q3. Are there particular work environments or conditions (e.g. noise levels, lighting) that you find especially challenging or beneficial for your productivity?

“I’ve always had a preference for cosy, enclosed spaces as opposed to open-plan, and they’re particularly beneficial if I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Lighting is also a big one for me, so I like that our office is bright (without being too artificial), and there’s also the option to use warm lamps in breakout or meeting rooms. Ultimately, the more comfortable I am, the better I write, so having the flexibility to set up my surroundings in the way that I best see fit is a big plus.”

Enna pic 3

Q4. How can your colleagues best support you in your work?

“Open-minded, honest communication is really important, and that goes both ways. My colleagues have taken the time to understand what I need to produce the best possible work, but having clear deadlines and a detailed, written brief from them helps me to prioritise my tasks and steer my work in the right direction. It’s a win-win.”

Enna team pic

Q5. What three things would you want your employer to know about ADHD?

1: “A diagnosis by no means makes someone incapable. If anything, ADHD-ers can bring something to the workplace that no one else can - whether that’s out-of-the-box thinking or the ability to get stuff done at speed. We just need to be supported in the right way to get the most out of us.”

2: “Focus looks different for everyone, so even if it might look like I’m not paying attention, or being anti-social by moving to a different area of the office, it’s all to ensure that I’m working to the best of my ability. All ADHD brains are different - some people might plug in for hours at a time, whereas others may need to take small breaks every so often. It’s about finding what works and facing no judgement in doing so.”

3: “That every day, even every hour, looks different for me. Some mornings I can be extremely productive and smash through my to-do list, whereas in the afternoon, I may face extreme writer's block. With that in mind, I think creating a safe, understanding space to ‘check in’ and accommodate changing needs definitely goes a long way.”



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