Having Autistic Employees Has Been Beneficial During Coronavirus, Auticon CEO Writes
In response to the autism unemployment crisis, many companies and organizations have stepped up their efforts to incorporate people on the spectrum into the workforce through diversity hiring, focusing on positions where many people with autism excel, such as technology, science, and engineering. Auticon, a global IT consulting firm, currently has 200 employees on the autism spectrum out of its 300 total employees. In a CNBC op-ed this month, Auticon US CEO David Aspinall wrote that the organization has actually benefited during the Coronavirus pandemic due to its autistic employees. Aspinall attributes this to the directness and honesty people with autism are often known for, and their high level of adaptability to working from home, which many employees with autism prefer over face-to-face interaction.
“People with autism often prefer to interface via a precise text or email,” Aspinall wrote. “Verbal or face-to-face conversations, which involve body language and emotional expression, can be more subjective and challenging. Some of our team members who aren’t comfortable making eye contact in person found that they were able to do so on Zoom calls, giving them a new way to connect. In a couple of days, we’ll be getting our team together on Zoom for a celebration of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month.” Aspinall also pointed out the strengths and talents people with autism bring to the table as employees. “People with autism often excel at business intelligence, quality-assurance test automation and complex software development projects,” he wrote. “They have unique cognitive strengths: attention to detail, a systematic way of working, logical analysis, pattern recognition, error detection and sustainable concentration for routine activities.” Having a team so adept as working from home has been very beneficial during this crisis, Aspinall wrote, and could benefit many companies in the long-term. “Companies that decide, after the coronavirus crisis ends, to rely more on telecommuting in the future need to have a workforce that’s capable of working remotely,” he wrote. “Hiring more people with autism could be the answer. Not only does it bring more diverse ways of thinking to a team but it’s also an ideal way to make sure that you’re staffed up with people who naturally excel at remote work.” Source: