205

2-4 A four hour meeting is unacceptable for any human. Forget about her specific use case. In the broadest sense, meetings do not help with productivity and serve more as inhibitors rather than amplifiers. Some suggestions: Keep meetings short. Keep them focused When a meeting starts, establish an end time and stick to it Establish a goal for the meeting (...


120

Full disclosure: I am a high-functioning autistic. I'm going to offer a few ideas that will benefit the greater workforce as well as the autistic employee, that way, everyone benefits. Since autism is a spectrum, it varies, but: Don't call anything a "safe space", it's insulting. We don't need safety, we need a good work environment. Lights that don't ...


51

Ask her, not the internet. She'll know what she wants and needs better than we will. Don't just ask her either. Try and get the whole team to have regular talks together about what's working well for them and what isn't, listen to their suggestions and change things based on them.


49

As the OP and other answers have acknowledged, autistic people vary tremendously and there's no one-size fits all approach, but some things that are often worth considering: Reduce intrusive stimuli. Noise and flickering lights have already been mentioned, but think also about the other senses. Scents (perfume, air "fresheners", tuna fish) can be problems ...


37

How can I request to be accommodated for this without embarrassing myself or making a bad first impression with the staff there? First, ask what is the uniform color you will be assigned. If it's blue then problem solved. If it's not blue, proceed to ask if they wouldn't mind giving you a blue one. If they agree great for you. If that is not possible, ...


27

headphones with noise-canceling provided to reduce the noise disturbances of an office environment. That's a cheap crappy workaround which doesn't even work that well. Noise cancelling headphones are good at blocking the sound of someone outside with a pneumatic drill, but not at blocking the sound of colleagues talking. The real solution is to go back ...


23

As I commented, this extreme tiredness is likely not caused by the meeting or the length of the meeting, but more a result of socializing with a large number of people at one time. In my unprofessional but first-hand experience, your co-worker seems to be suffering from what some call an "introvert hangover". That is, she simply needs a period of time to ...


16

I'm an autistic, verbal woman. Here are some ideas based on what I need to have at work to be able to work properly and from what I read in literature and found to be useful but have never tried myself. What I use: noise-cancelling headphones are more than a nice to have, it's vital to me. Getting the company to invest in good sets for every employee is a ...


11

TLDR: Make sure you have fresh air in your marathon meetings! Buy an air quality indicator and take that into the room. Vent the room when it indicates too low O2 or too high CO2 levels. Meetings are often held in crowded rooms and people often forget or don't dare to open windows during the meeting. Insufficient air supply/over-saturation with CO2 makes ...


7

Background Many great answers already, but as another autistic individual I wanted to add my 2 cents. Oh, and like the rest, disclaimer: autism is not one single thing, it's a wide spectrum of traits with varying severities. Also I'm going to say "employee" a lot because "autist" or "autistic individual" sounds ridiculous if you say it more than twice, just ...


6

There are a couple of reasons such a request can be denied: Security and insurance If you're taking company resources off site and/or connecting to the company network remotely, this puts the company at risk (anywhere from getting your laptop stolen, getting hacked or even just accidentally breaking your laptop). This does not apply if you're already allowed ...


6

I'd have a think about what the meetings are bringing, not just to this staff member, but the team as a whole. It's possible that absolutely everything being brought up can only be handled in face-to-face meetings, but in my experience, unlikely. For example, next time you're in a meeting, keep track of how often one person asks a question, and another ...


6

I am not a lawyer but I have worked in different countries in Europe. I would say that it is not illegal for them to not pay your accommodation. There jobs that offer a relocation package that may include it, there are others that offer benefits that include cars, fuel, bills, extra holidays, courses, etc. It is up to you to see the package, negotiate with ...


5

I'm retired now, but I had a long career of battling for a little elbow room and understanding from my various employers. The number one problem I had over the decades was that the employers would not hear me when I asked for small accommodations. If you want to make the workplace less stressful for the spectrum, so that they don't miss work to decompress ...


4

I'm a high functioning autistic person as well, having worked in multiple office environments. There are a lot of good suggestions that were given in the other answers but i'd like to add a few as well, that have benefited me: The power of stop Make sure that a colleague on the spectrum has a way to signal do not disturb. I had a coding job in an open ...


3

I'm on the high-functioning end of the spectrum, and I can't really add to the various lists of accommodations already present. However, I have had some downright traumatic experiences with intrusive accommodations, so I thought I'd chime in with a few observations. First of all, it shouldn't need saying but an employee's medical record should be handled on ...


3

Why not provide noise canceling headphones to everyone? You don't need to show autistic notice from a doctor to like working in silence. Why "meditation room" not be avaiable for others to "chill out". Other people are not in stressful situation? As a functioning person with autism - don't treat is at a special thing. There is NO, and I cannot stress is ...


3

The ideas you have so far are good but won't cover all of the possible issues that need to be addressed. You'll probably want to adjust the way you give tasks to autistic people. You'll want to make your directions more precise. Eg: Bad: Find out what you can about this local event Better: Get onto Facebook, Google and Twitter, search for this local ...


3

Where I work at, also in software development, we started reaching critical mass with meetings where it was common for team velocity to be reduced by 25-30 percent or more due to all the meetings that people were expected to attend. There were also numerous complaints about the length of meetings and perceived lack of value. As an introvert myself, I found ...


2

If the company is meeting the laws required by your locality, region/state, and nation, then they are well within their requirements and could make a reasonable argument that the closed-toe orthopedic is providing much more safety as it is protecting your foot against further injury while at a register. (Things get dropped all the time, I know, I've worked ...


2

If I am capable of fulfilling 100% of my job responsibilities remotely, is this a reasonable accommodation to request, based on the ADA requirements? Yes, but it's also reasonable for your workplace to decide you cannot for a number of reasons that may or may not have anything to do with you being able to fulfill your job responsibilities. Something as ...


2

I feel that this would not have one right answer. So this serves to add some additional points. I agree with this answer. The key is to continue to look for a solution/s by trying different things. This should and can very well be an on-going process, and should involve all affected co-workers for fairness' sake. Some points: If any co-worker is ...


2

Edit: This answer assumes she is mostly inactive during the meetings. As it turned out, she appears to be quite active and engaged. So let's take it as an answer to an alternative scenario. Boredom The reason why she is bored is likely because she is highly intelligent (high IQ). As such, she needs more cognitive stimulation to prevent boredom. A meeting ...


1

Two additional suggestions that haven't been suggested: Ear defenders and/or earbuds. Noise cancelling headphones are a gimmick mostly for any kind of noisy environment. But ear defenders are fantastic. I am not autistic but I really hate loud noises and certain background noises in offices, such as a place I worked with a guy who typed REALLY loudly on ...


1

Let me give you two pieces of advise: General meeting problems : meetings have the tendency of becoming too long. This can be solved by preparing your meetings (everybody who has something to say, needs to prepare him- of herself on what to say). In top of this, somebody must be assigned to check if the subjects are not being elaborated too much for the ...


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