NeuroDiversity in the Workplace – Asking Autistic & NeuroDivergent People to Keep a NeuroTypical Pace

Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on October 26, 2021. The video’s public release will be December 8, 2021.


All right. Welcome. Welcome everyone. I’m glad you’re here.

This is Lyric, NeuroDivergent Rebel, back again for your regularly scheduled Wednesday morning broadcast – or afternoon, depending on what place in the world you are tuning in from. Welcome, I am very grateful to have an international audience.

This week I am going to be talking about something that I share with organizations, in my work as an educator and consultant.

You may know that I do these free resources online, but my day job is developing and delivering training for organizations, and helping them to update, change, review policies, and create policies and structures, in their organizations, that are more accessible to everyone in the organization; because a lot of accommodations that NeuroDivergent People need, can be beneficial for everyone.

One of the things that I share with organizational leaders, and members of different companies I work with, is the fact that NeuroDivergent pace, often can look different than NeuroTypical pace, and NeuroDivergent workers can have, what I like to call “variable energy reserves” and may need to adjust our schedules accordingly.

If you would like to learn more, I’d love to invite you to stay tuned as I dive into this more deeply.

One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself was modifying my work schedule, to one that optimizes when my brain is most efficient.

If I am left to manage myself, I can often complete a task I am well-suited for more quickly than my NeuroTypical peers, depending on the task. Depending on the task is an important part of that. I do have to work around my brain, and block off work in chunks that make sense.

Tasks I am poorly suited for can also take me longer, so it is really important when we are matching people with tasks in workplaces, or if you are looking for your own career, to do tasks that you’re well-suited for, or to assign tasks to people who are well-suited to complete those tasks.

Because if you assign tasks to people, and they are poorly suited for those tasks, it is going to cost them more energy, mental energy, and efficiency, in doing those tasks, will be down. That is regardless of neurotype, but especially true with Autistic and NeuroDivergent brains.

Let’s go back to how I customize my pace. In the mornings, because communication is more work for me, as an Autistic Person, than it is for a lot of NeuroTypical people, I am often not ready to start talking to people until later in the day, when I’m fully awake.

Also, because other people can wear me out, I do like to get quiet, focused work, done in the morning, when I’m feeling fresh and inspired.

Other people can be exhausting to me, and will often drain the creativity right out of me. If I have a bunch of meetings in the morning, I will be exhausted by the second half of the day, and have no creativity left in my brain.

Different people may find their energy to peak in different times of the day. I work best in the morning. Some people may be better starting a bit later in the day, or the afternoon. Other people may even be better at working late at night.

Any night owls out there? Any night owls out there: drop a comment.

Let me know if you’re a night owl, or you need to get your day going, and you’re a- you’re a morning person, and you’re go, go, go first thing; or if you’re someone who needs to take your time, and get started a little bit later in the day. Nothing, nothing wrong with that. There is no one size fits all solution. I’d love to hear how it is for you, and when you are most efficient. Drop, drop a comment below.

How can organizations do do right by people who are fresh at different times of the day?

Well, two options would be either flexible start times, or going all the way, and doing flexible scheduling. Depending on the role this can take a little creativity.

Working remotely is another good thing that can be thing people can do, but some people are not able to do certain jobs remotely. We could do a whole nother video about working remotely.

Drop a comment if you would like to hear a video about working remotely. I will put that on the list of videos to do; but first let’s talk about these flexible start times, and flexible schedules, and what that, actually, looks like when we put that into practice.

I’ll start with flexible start times.

For example, with the flexible start time, you could say that you would like everyone in your office to start between 7am & 10am. That allows people to either come in a bit earlier, or potentially shift their day back, to start a few hours later, and then they would get off earlier or later, depending on when they came in. They just shift the start of their traditional workday back, or up, a few hours depending on their individual needs.

That’s a really simple thing, that a lot of offices we’ll do, that is a fairly common practice, here in America, especially in tech companies, and corporate spaces – letting people have that flexible start time.

Instead of saying, “you must be here exactly at 8:00 AM and you will be punished for it.”

 If you live in a city that has traffic, and commute times are variable, this can cause a lot of anxiety, having to be somewhere at exactly a certain time, like with shift work, sometimes you have to relieve someone for a shift, and knowing that you were going to be late. That is very stressful to me.

Having a flexible start time, where I know if I’m just a little bit late, I will just work a little bit longer to make up for. It is wonderful.

In addition, those of us who have ADHD, sometimes getting somewhere exactly when we planned, doesn’t go exactly when and how we planned.

That’s another thing that flexible start times is really great for if something happens, and your inability to sense how much time has passed, causes you to be a little bit later, you are not going to get dinged for it, and it won’t be used against you. So yay, flexible start times!

The next thing employers can do, if they’re ready to go all the way…

You can move on to having flexible scheduling. Of course, this is going to work best with salaried employees, but there are creative ways you can make this work, even if you have an hourly staff.

 For example, with flexible scheduling, how this differs a little bit from just having a flexible start time, it is a lot, it is a lot more flexible.

You can allow people to work when they have the energy, and work their schedule around their peaks and lows, as with starting later or earlier, but instead of just shifting an entire eight or nine hour workday up, forward or back a few hours, you may shift your schedule around.

So for example, some days I may work 10 to 12 hours, and other days I may work 3 to six 6.

Really, depending on the tasks, and what I’m doing. That’s because some tasks are more exhausting for me than others, and it’s going to wear me out more quickly, when that happens.

Also, with this kind of a flexible schedule, it’s helpful for me, because it is better for me to think about the types of tasks I’m getting done, and marking off and the deadlines off my list, instead of worrying over the amount of hours of work I need to cram in.

These types of schedules are really great for people who have disabilities, but they also can benefit everyone in your company.

If you ask other people in there in your company, if they want this, they’re going to say yes, because it promotes a sense of trust and autonomy.

NeuroDivergent People, and people with disabilities, may need more flexibility in their schedules, but when I worked in an organization, during the beginning of the pandemic, that had flexible scheduling for everyone in the company, not just the NeuroDivergent People, we were a step ahead of everyone as we moved into the pandemic; because, for example, parents in the company, I was working in, now had to be full-time parents, full-time employees, and full-time teachers.

It allowed for parents to work their work schedules around their homeschool schedule, so everyone, not just NeuroDivergent People, benefited from the fact that we had these flexible schedules.

It allows you to have a life within work. For example, if you need to go get your license renewed or do your registration, or something like that, you can just go do it, as long as you are getting your work done on time.

All right. I am really grateful for you sticking around for this entire video.

If you liked this video, and would like for me to do more business and organizational educational topic videos, give me a thumbs up, so that I know.

If you found this content educational or helpful, please hit share.

Hopefully we can start changing the minds of employers and organizations together, so that they can start treating people, their biggest resource, like humans, instead of machines.

Let’s bring this human aspect back to the workplace: the human. Let’s put the human back in human resources. People are not machines.

Thanks everyone. Thanks to those of you who are sharing, and subscribing, and commenting, and letting me know what topics you would like for me to cover in future videos.

Hint, hint, drop some of those now, if you have any suggestions for me. I will be reviewing those, and looking for future topic ideas from you, because I would like to do whatever videos you want to learn about.

I don’t do these just for the sake of myself. I do them because I want to help people. So let me know what I can help you with.

Also a huge, thank you, really quick, before I go, to the Patreon subscribers, YouTube channel members, and the Facebook supporters, who do that little bit of monetary subscription on Patreon – it’s less than $12 a year, if you subscribe annually.

Those helpers and viewers help me to have web hosting, and close captioning, and transcriptioning software, and video editing programs, all of the things, that helped me to create the blog, that is of a high quality, and has the accessibility features that I would not be able to provide on my own without the help of viewers like you.

I am so incredibly grateful. This blog is powered by you by the viewers and the readers. So thank you each and every one of you- each and every one of you for watching, commenting, and everything. I’m really grateful.

I will talk to you all next Wednesday. Bye.


Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU!  (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)

With gratitude,

– Lyric

One thought on “NeuroDiversity in the Workplace – Asking Autistic & NeuroDivergent People to Keep a NeuroTypical Pace

  1. Can you share some of the companies who are open to this? The company I just left was clueless and preferred to just keep complaining about their ability to hire and retain workers. I tried!

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