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A Workplace For Everyone – Creating a more inclusive workplace

Posted on June 23rd 2017 by Jordan Belfort.

A more accessible and inclusive workplace

Employers should always be on the lookout for ways to make a more accessible and inclusive workplace for their staff.

These changes can be to make adjustments for the comfort and wellbeing of current members of staff or to make a more accessible workplace that anyone can work in.

Why invest in a more inclusive workplace?

Taking time and using initiative to make adjustments for your staff shows a level of commitment. This won’t go unnoticed and that commitment will be returned by your work force. The changes you make will lead to happier workers, producing better quality work and staying loyal to your company.

Another advantage to a more inclusive workplace is that you never have to turn away the best. A more accessible workplace means that during your recruitment process you never have to turn away quality employees. Developing a reputation as an inclusive and accessible employer will open up your hiring process up to a more diverse pool of talent, making sure you can build the best possible team.

Where to start

The best way to start the process of making an inclusive workplace for all is to start a conversation. Engage your employees and talk about what they feel needs to change to make their workspace better suit them.

What particular tasks are the most strenuous? Do they spend too much time sitting or standing in a day? Are certain areas difficult to reach or gain access to?

Create a space where your employees feel comfortable discussing what changes they need to better do their job. Encourage disabled staff members to feel safe talking about their specific needs. Consider how feasible and sustainable all of the ideas put forward are to make an informed decision on where to begin and which ideas to implement first.

Changes you can make

Although most of the changes you’ll make will depend on feedback from employees, there are a few products we offer at Workplace Products to improve access and inclusion in your work space. So if you’re preparing a new workplace or upgrading a current one, consider these changes as you walk through your premises.

Disabled Spaces

As you enter the company car park you want disabled individuals to feel that they are a priority.

Use these road markings to define disabled spots in your company car park. They are a very simple way to let customers, employees and visitors know that your premises are inclusive. Make sure the spaces are at a point in the car park to easily exit the vehicle and get into the building.

Access Ramps

When entering the building, are there any obstacles such as steps that could prevent entry?

Carefully placed access ramps around your premises will make a huge difference to its accessibility, especially for wheelchair users. They are also useful in industrial settings for moving heavy items. The gentle slope of the ramp avoids wheeling a sack truck around and straining too much to manoeuvre it. Access ramps are a simple addition that can make a world of difference.

Kicks Steps

Are there certain areas which are difficult to reach, leaving items in communal areas left unusable by some staff members?

Other than making an effort to avoid having items stored up high, a kick step is a very handy way to allow people more access to things. They are easier solution than waiting for a taller member of staff to come along and help. They are also a  safer solution than over stretching or standing on an unstable surface to reach for an item.

Height adjustable Desks

An office of traditional stationary desks will exclude a lot of people from working for long periods of time comfortably.

A height adjustable desk allows for a more ergonomic experience at work. The ability to adjust the height means that these desks can be tailored to each person’s needs, making them far more inclusive than a more traditional alternative. This is a useful feature when considering that desk sharing and shift work is on the rise. Electric height adjustable desks are also a big plus for those in wheelchairs. The height can be adjusted with the touch of a button to allow them to easily accommodate their chair.

The placement of desks around an office can also invite a more inclusive workplace. Using a more open plan set up will invite a more inviting and communal feel.

Whiteboards

Is your office space an environment that values everyone’s ideas?

Whiteboards are a great way to create an open space for ideas. Leave an idea on the board and allow people to add to it in their own time. Some of the best ideas come from those whose voices may not always be heard. A Whiteboard offers a way for everyone to suggest ideas without there being too much pressure. Conveniently, they would be an great way to open up a conversation about inclusivity and accessibility at work.

Height Adjustable Workbench

As you move into a more industrial environment, such as a factory or a warehouse, comfort can quite often be overlooked.

Height adjustable Workbenches have the same ergonomic advantages as the height adjustable desks. For use in an industrial setting, these workbenches also have a variety of accessories to further improve their ergonomics. These include plug sockets above the bench and easy to reach drawers and cupboards.

Safety Barriers

Whilst walking through the factory or warehouse, consider how easy it is to navigate.

Using Safety Barriers not only helps make navigating an area like this easier but also provides clear and safe walkways. These areas can then be kept clear so the chance of tripping over or the way being blocked for those with a physical disability is greatly reduced.

 Anti-Fatigue Matting

A lot of time on production lines and in factories is spent standing, which can often put a lot of strain on an employee’s legs.

Anti-fatigue Matting is a great way to tackle stress on feet and lower limbs. In jobs that involve standing for much of the day a lot of strain is placed on an employee’s legs which can cause serious health issues over time. Anti-fatigue matting encourages subtle movement that allows blood to flow more easily and help to avoid issues arising or pre-existing ones becoming worse.

Powered Scissor Lifts

A traditional scissor lift requires that a foot pump is used to raise it, an obstacle for someone with a physical disability.

Scissor lifts are common place in industrial settings where a lot of weighty items are worked on.  A powered scissor lift removes the problem of raising it completely. It has easy to use controls to both raise and lower the scissor lift table for the user.

 

These are just a few of our products that we believe can help build a more inclusive workplace. The best way to find out what your business needs is to ask your employees and see what they think will make it an inclusive workplace for everyone.

If you have any questions about the products that we offer, visit the website or get in touch with our sales team to find out more.

 

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