December 7, 2022

Three Reasons You Should Adopt Universal Design in Your Office Environment

Diversity and inclusion are critical in the workplace. A diverse and inclusive workplace doesn’t just benefit employees; it also helps improve the bottom line. Studies have shown that companies with greater diversity in their workforce tend to outperform those without. But you can’t attract a diverse workforce if your office isn’t designed to welcome everyone.

According to a U.S. census, roughly one in five Americans live with a disability. That’s a lot of potential employees who could benefit from an inclusive workplace. Offices emphasizing design to accommodate everyone attract and retain a wider range of talent, and expand their customer base. Here are a few ideas:

The experience one has can define an inclusive company culture. 

Easy site and building wayfinding, convenient and safe parking, power-operated entry doors, and an accessible reception desk are all powerful Universal Design strategies that help shape an inclusive culture. Additionally, an inclusive work environment looks at reach range, furniture flexibility, ergonomics, lighting, color, quiet zones, and even building egress policies for people with disabilities. Your employees will see that their company has invested in a design for all, supporting a diverse community where daily work life is more productive, safer, and friendlier.

By promoting functionality and independence.

Universal design isn’t just about accommodating those with disabilities; it’s about improving the functionality of a space and removing barriers allowing individuals to maintain a level of independence. By implementing universal design principles, you can make it easier for anyone to access the resources they need — from technology to shared spaces. This helps you make the most of your office space, increase efficiency, reduce frustration, and allows all individuals to perform their job activities on a level playing field.

By reducing the risk of injury.

A safer work environment can help reduce employee turnover, absenteeism, and workers’ compensation claims — all of which can have a significant impact on your bottom line, and employee morale. UD strategies embrace safety considerations that respond to slips, trips, and falls, over-exertion, repetitive motion injuries, and collisions with equipment. Improving overall safety for your employees is always a top priority.

Studies have shown that companies with a diverse and inclusive workforce are better positioned to innovate and remain competitive in the marketplace, and Universal Design will help your organization be inclusive of everyone in the workplace. Are you ready to incorporate these design principles into your workspace? Progressive Companies can help you get started on your journey. Contact us for more information.

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