Managing workplace sensory issues

Sensory issues have a huge impact on my day-to-day anxiety levels. Understanding this has been a real benefit of getting my autism diagnosis.

Our sensory worlds are complex, and everyone responds to different things differently. My general approach to improve things for myself is:

  1. Map out which things help and which things hinder against each individual sense
  2. Maximise the good, and minimise the bad

Obviously, there has been a lot of trial and error within that… for example, I discovered during my diagnosis that I don’t get enough proprioceptive input (your sense of where your body is in space).

I will go through each sense and explain the impact that this can have at work and what I do to help myself. A lot of this is now second nature. When I was first experimenting to find out what works, I used a lot of visual reminders. To nudge me to do things or to avoid things that I wasn’t used to paying attention to. Those reminders ranged from a little picture on my whiteboard to calendar reminders at key points during the day.

I am fortunate to work from home full time so I am mostly in control of my sensory environment.