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Office design As one in seven people are thought to be neurodiverse (with conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyspraxia and dyslexia for example) there is value in understanding this group’s needs, particularly as they are widely credited for their excellent lateral thinking, analytical and creative skills. WHY OFFICE INTERIOR DESIGN MUST CATER FOR NEURODIVERSITY 20 www.thefis.org I N a recent blog, Becky Turner, workplace psychologist at commercial interior consultancy and FIS member, Claremont, writes that research shared at the recent Workplace Trends Research summit highlighted a growing need for business leaders and those involved with workplace design to understand and cater for neurodiversity. The research addressed what neurodiverse employees require from the workplace, not just to function but to excel and it highlighted how varying sensory thresholds affect neurodiverse employees’ ability to interact with and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Hypersensitive individuals, which can include those with ADHD, tend to favour more ordered experiences and reduced stimuli. This means they may struggle in an environment with unfamiliar smells, changing temperatures, varied textures or high levels of noise and bright lights. In contrast, hyposensitive individuals, which might include those with autism, often have difficult seeing, hearing and feeling sensory details. Consequently, they often need far greater stimuli in order to process information about their surroundings. Choice and control This idea of catering for particular neurodiverse conditions may feel at odds We need to work together to implement a more inclusive work experience (image © Lendlease Europe)

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