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A neurodiverse workplace is one for us

Autistic. ADHD. Sensory Processing Differences. These are all forms of neurodiversity - where the brain processes information differently compared to the majority of people, termed as neurotypical.

Bridging neurotypes creates safe places for everyone (Photo: J Drake)

Murrang Earth Sciences prides itself on being inclusive. And this isn't just lip service. Our neurodiverse staff are genuinely happy that we have a safe and thoughtful workplace, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

There can be considerable workplace challenges for neurodiverse staff. All neurodiverse people are different and have different needs. Some examples of needs and possible accomodations include:

  • Sensory processing needs - providing quiet spaces, letting people work from a place of their choice

  • Understanding workplace politics - giving staff space to take the time they need to process and understand interactions, and/or providing them options to minimise interactions

  • Task/job focus - instead focus on staff talents, and working with them to find what they enjoy and excel in as their primary job

  • Different communication styles and literal thinking - understand staff communication preferences and utilise the preference, provide very clear logical instructions

Our Statement of Performance guides us on our actions in how we work with each other, but also in how we ensure an equitable and fair workplace that is inclusive for all. Some of the things we do to make sure our neurodiverse staff are included:

  • Learning and understanding neurodiversity

  • Openly discussing different staff needs and wants

  • Focusing on self-determination

  • Understanding that we can all have good and bad days

  • Allowing people to be themselves, and understanding we are all different

  • Being flexible about workplace needs, and that these needs can change

Looking after each other at work is never prescriptive. Everyone is different and has different needs and desires. We try to support those needs for everyone.

Neurodiverse people are amazing because they think about the world in a completely different way. They bring in different perspectives and different ways to solve problems. No one neurodiverse person is the same, and our neurodiverse staff have some different and awesome ways of thinking. One of our neurodiverse staff members can get really focused on particular subject areas in environmental science -- it is amazing the detail they seem to hold in their head! We also have highly empathetic staff, and they can often pick up on feelings in a room very early. One of our staff members has an ability to think in pictures, and they join what appears to be uncommon threads together in a coherent holistic way. We are super lucky to have our neurodiverse staff talents as part of our team. You can find out more about neurodiversity in the workplace, and how to work with neurodiverse people on some of these websites:

We note that this post was voluntarily authored by our neurodiverse staff, and they were given absolute veto rights in publishing this article. If you have any concerns, please feel free to get in touch.

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