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Workplace ADHD Statistics in the UK

Written by Sarah Norman

Review by Alina Ivan

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  • adhd

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Aug 15, 2023, 4 min read

ADHD is a neurodivergence. This is a form of neurodiversity, a difference in how the brain is hard-wired when compared to neurotypical individuals. It can actually bring unique strengths as well as challenges in a professional setting. Take a look at these UK workplace ADHD statistics and how employers can supercharge their neurodiverse team members to benefit everyone, including the business bottom line.

ADHD in the workplace

At Augmentive, we aim to provide holistic, tailored mental health support to everyone so they can live their life to the fullest, so if you have questions about the symptoms of ADHD, want to get a private ADHD assessment, or are keen to find out more about our revolutionary workplace wellbeing platform, we’re here to help.

Workplace ADHD Statistics in the UK

Around 1 in 20 people have a diagnosis of ADHD - although the charity ADHD UK suggests there may be as many as 2 million in the country who have ADHD but are undiagnosed - and they are not always having a good time at work.

Neurodivergent people in the workplace report worryingly low levels of wellbeing, giving themselves an average of just 2.2 out of 5 in surveys of workplace wellness. 69% of workers don’t get any access to reasonable workplace adjustments that would benefit them due to a lack of self-disclosure; people just aren’t happy (or at all willing) to disclose their condition to their employer.

People with untreated ADHD can “lose” around 22 days of productivity a year, according to the World Health Organisation, so making reasonable adjustments and engaging with treatment options benefits everyone. A review by ADDA, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, found that adults with ADHD are nearly 60% more likely to be fired, 30% more likely to have chronic or ongoing employment challenges, and three times more likely to quit a job on impulse. Other research also shows that nearly a quarter of working adults who are on sick leave for the long term due to stress exhibit symptoms of ADHD, which further harms both employee wellness and business performance.

“ADHD can lead to an anxious emotional state, a lot of self-doubt and it can have an impact on your work, your home life and your surroundings. It is a disorder of regulation, so putting in more external structures to help you with regulation can be a complimentary way to support your ADHD.”
Dr Chetna Kang, Consultant Psychiatrist

Of course it’s little wonder that those with ADHD are so reluctant to disclose it - 65% worry about experiencing discrimination from their managers if they mention their diagnosis, and since less than 1 in 4 D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) policies have any focus at all on neurodiversity, those concerns are likely rather well-founded.

It can actually be very easy to make reasonable accommodations for people with ADHD. The most common requests that can benefit their focus and productivity are offered by many forward-thinking companies anyway, such as flexible scheduling and the option to work from home. People with ADHD also benefit from a private desk, rather than being expected to work in a bustling hot-desk or open plan environment, and prefer to receive one to one support from managers in order to help them keep on track. Every person with ADHD has unique strengths and challenges, so it is always best to have a one-to-one conversation to learn how to best support each individual.

Workplace ADHD pressures

The good news is that with such relatively minor adjustments to help manage ADHD successfully, along with appropriate support, people with ADHD can actually bring many highly valuable attributes and skills to the workplace. They’re often willing to take chances to seize opportunities, with high drive and enthusiasm, and tend to have a lot of creativity with plenty of ideas to share around. They’re typically very curious, making them highly valuable in lots of different roles, and with the right support and management they can bring their hyperfocus to bear in hugely beneficial ways.

If you think you may have ADHD, or know (or work with) someone who does, don’t be one of the silently suffering - reasonable accommodations can turn your neurodiverse status into a hidden superpower. And workplaces: don’t neglect neurodiversity, in all shapes and sizes, when reviewing your D&I initiatives. Not only can embracing reasonable accommodations leave you with happier, more productive employees, but you can also unlock the hidden strengths of your team that you may never even have realised they have. Learn more about mental wellness at work by discovering the benefits of stress risk assessments, and check out our workplace wellbeing platform to see how it could benefit your organisation today.

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