The Changing Workplace: enabling disability-inclusive hybrid working

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Eighty-five per cent of disabled workers in the UK say they are more productive working from home, new research by the Work Foundation reveals

Report cover: The changing workplace: enabling disability inclusive hybrid working.

The Work Foundation, a leading think-tank dedicated to improving work in the UK, today launches its latest report, The changing workplace: enabling disability inclusive hybrid working.

This new study explores disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid working, before and during the pandemic, through a survey of 406 disabled people, interviews with 20 disabled workers, and two roundtables with employers and other stakeholders.  

The majority of disabled workers who took part in this project valued the opportunity to decide where they worked, and this had positive impacts for them and their organisation:

  • 70% of disabled workers said that if their employer did not allow them to work remotely, it would negatively impact their physical or mental health
  • Survey respondents and interviewees highlighted clear benefits to working from home, including having more autonomy and control over when and how they work, which in turn allowed them to better manage their health and wellbeing
  • This brought wider benefits for their organisations too; 85% of disabled workers surveyed felt more productive working from home.

This research also draws attention to the challenges some disabled workers have experienced, ranging from difficulties securing essential adjustments to outdated attitudes from managers about flexible work, and touches on concerns about how working remotely may impact relationships with colleagues and career progression:

  • Of all survey respondents who requested additional support or new adjustments while working remotely, close to 1 in 5 (19.1%) had their request refused, with no alternative arrangements put in place
  • Both survey respondents and interviewees highlighted concerns that they might lose access to opportunities at work if they need to be based at home, and these concerns were greatest among individuals with multiple impairments or conditions.

The report concludes with practical steps for employers to take to ensure their approach to hybrid and remote working is inclusive of disabled employees; and recommendations to Government for policy changes that will be needed to tackle the disability employment gap.

Read more and download the report: The changing workplace: enabling disability inclusive hybrid working

Presentation

The findings of The changing workplace report will be presented at an online, expert panel discussion on Wednesday 20 July 2022, 10 – 11.15am. Book your free place on Eventbrite.

About the report

The Work Foundation, a leading think-tank dedicated to improving work in the UK, today launches its latest report, The changing workplace: enabling disability inclusive hybrid working. Through a survey of 406 disabled people, interviews with 20 disabled workers, and two roundtables with employers and other stakeholders, the Work Foundation has developed new evidence about disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid work.

This independent research has been funded by City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

Publication date: 12 July 2022.

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