The pandemic has made many people have to retreat from their places of work for safety. They may have reduced the spread of infection greatly but it has made a lot of people angry. The whole workers of the world are in a bad mood. Now this is where I think the work pattern of a disabled worker can save the world from economic collapse.
In the past I have advocated for the improvements in employability of autistics people by getting employers to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate them. That sort of change will benefit the disabled community greatly and open them their potential to the employment market. Very few bosses have bothered to do this and of those that do they have collaborated with NGOs to make them. In America there is this organisation called the National Telecommuting Institute that allocates work from home jobs for disabled people and veterans. They have helped an average of 400 – 500 people every year into remote working roles.
Its time we took employees out of the offices and got them to work from home. Being a home based worker has been a useful asset to companies affected by the lockdown. By working remotely from home the company can still operate and not have to furlough it’s staff. In effect they become more recession proof and less prone to being affected by a pandemic or any sort of disaster that affects their normal work routine. In the disabled community being stuck indoors and keeping safe from Covid-19 is business as usual for some. I have friends on the autism spectrum who are still keeping busy in their jobs.
Being a home based worker can bring many benefits for employers and employees. Consider the cost of living and working. One time I had to turn down a job interview for a role that was based in London when I was living in Elm Park on the London-Essex border. The employer told me that I would spend two-thirds of my wages on travel fares if I took the job. They say that disabled people don’t understand money, well I do actually and I am careful with what I do with it. The current cost of an annual travelcard in London is £3764 to cover all 9 zones. A city worker earning £20,000 a year from an admin job would lose nearly a quarter of their salary including food and drink for lunch. That is a really bad for someone with little disposable income.
Employers also have it bad. The cost of office space in London is very expensive charging anywhere between £2000 to £5000 a year. That doesn’t include the phone and internet charges for the company. When you have expensive property and amenities needed for your business that hampers the amount of revenue you can make, and this is all before taxes. The autism community has shown that their model has got many more ways to earning money for a company without spending too much on overhead. Home based workers can create their own personal workspaces indoors at reasonably lower prices than it would cost to work from an office in a big city.
All employers need to provide is to cover the cost of a few pieces of furniture, their internet bills, office equipment and supplies. With no travel needed the workers and the bosses don’t need to worry about travel expenses or cost of food from city centre cafes that charge ridiculous prices for lattes and sandwiches. If they want they can make their own lunch from home or order a takeaway from a local outlet.
One problem that the Coronavirus has highlighted is the quality of life living in the city centre. Air pollution gradually gets more worse every year as the city grows in size and that undermines the health of the people living and working in London. I use an app on my phone that measures the level of pollution in the air. The level of fumes and nitrogen oxides coming from cars varies depending on how much traffic there is on the roads. The air quality can get so bad sometimes that you would need a face mask even without the presence of Coronavirus. So by being away from the city centre your less prone to suffering from
Working from home is a boon to the jobs sector and it is a very effective way of getting employment opportunities for the disabled. One thing that we have seen from the Coronavirus is that employers have underestimated it’s usefulness and in doing so have undervalued the usefulness of disabled people. You could save literally thousands of pounds a year in running costs and boost production tremendously. Employees work best when they are in a comfortable work environment that makes them feel valued and wanted there. One autistic accountant has shown this through his work routine.
I believe that employers should restructure their entire work organisations so that they can adapt their operations to make their workers carry on working from afar. So you can see that the disability job market is a very crucial and important addition to the British economy.