From the Editor
Importance of Workplace Accommodations
A new study from Job Accommodation Network (JAN) shows that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low cost. They are able to retain valuable employees, improve productivity and morale, reduce workers comp costs, and improve company diversity, all at very little investment. 59% of these accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, and the rest average a cost of $500.
A typical situation might be allowing an employee experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder to bring a service animal to work. Zero cost, and job performance and attendance improved. (And who doesn’t like a service animal at work;)
Another might be a mechanic who uses hearing aids but still has trouble communicating with co-workers and attending trainings because of hearing loss. The employer provided TTY software and a mini-iPad. This increased is ability to communicate with his co-workers and the public for the low cost of $300.
I am glad to work for a company that does everything it can to make accommodations for each individual. Like providing a sit/stand workstation for an employee with chronic pain.
I have had to play the accommodation card myself. When I was caring for my mother last year, I was able to work from home whenever I was unable to have an assistant come in to be with my mother. This required a laptop computer, and I think it worked out very well. Now it helps me stay productive if I stay home with a sick child.
In a previous job, it was a choice of accommodation or leaving the job. I sustained a herniated disc in my neck from the repeated movement of bending my head over a dental chair. Physical therapy and a changing work environment meant I could return to work and prevent the same injuries from happening to my co-workers. It was as simple as providing easy roll mats, new rolling stools and articulated head rests.
A good employee should be retained and the work environment should be comfortable to help them be productive.