Does remote work make it easier to hire disabled workers?

Interview with Laurence Marin, Executive Director of Regroupement des organismes spécialisés pour l’emploi des personnes handicapées (ROSEPH) [Group of specialized organizations for the employment of people with disabilities].

Remote work is a benefit for certain disabled people

The pandemic revolutionized the world of employment. Remote work is now the norm for a large number of positions. Are people with disabilities benefiting from this boom in working from home?

“Remote work was imposed on many workers, including people with disabilities.
Some managers have found that in certain professions you can be as efficient at home as in an office,” says Laurence Marin, director general of Regroupement des organismes spécialisés pour l’emploi des personnes handicapées” [Group of specialized organizations for the employment of people with disabilities].

During the pandemic, some accessibility challenges disappeared. “The major problem for our customers is that we have to make an accommodation for them. This time, people with disabilities did not feel different. Everyone had to adapt to remote work.” 

The generalization of working from home has been beneficial in many ways. “An open-mindedness has taken place […]. Remote work has become the norm and is no longer an exception. This has benefited people with disabilities, who now have a better chance of entering the labour market,” adds Laurence Marin.

Working conditions are much better for certain categories of people. Those with motor impairments save time by working from home and experience less fatigue. For others, a quiet environment is better for carrying out demanding tasks, according to the general manager. 

The hybrid formula, a solution for certain disabilities

 Hybrid working – remote plus face-to-face working – would have a positive effect for people who face difficulties in hiring, according to a recent report by Deloitte Canada called ‘Successfully implementing hybrid work: creating and sustaining inclusive economic growth in Canada.’

This formula serves “as a catalyst to remove the barriers that under-represented groups previously faced in the labour market”.

This form of work organization could also “open the door to more inclusive workplaces that accept different work styles and accommodations.”

Remote work is not suitable for all types of disabilities. “The hybrid formula is ideal for someone who cannot stand isolation or who has organizational difficulties that require supervision,” concludes Laurence Marin.

 

Author: Emmanuelle Froment

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