Building a culture of flexibility isn’t just a means to an end. We do it to celebrate the rich diversity of people in our organization; to help people truly see, value, and respect one another; and to send a clear message that our organization has respect and inclusion at the very heart of our culture.
So, for this week’s #RVAFlex feature, we are sharing a testimonial from an RVA team member on how a culture of flexibility has helped remove barriers to inclusion, and empowered them to fully participate and succeed in the workplace. Their story shows us how flexibility can be a powerful way to uplift the voices and lived experiences of those with disabilities, whether visible or non-visible, and to capture the multifaceted aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are part of us all.
Often when we think about flexible work arrangements, we think about how workplace flexibility improves work-life balance. But the advantages of flexible work arrangements can be so much more for people that face unique challenges when working in an office setting. Flexible work culture allows us to embrace our differences by accommodating the unique workstyles of others that may vary from our own so that we all can thrive. As a person with disabilities, to me, flexible work culture = accessibility.
While heading into the office has been the standard for many years, we often overlook workplace barriers posed by the office environment. Because accessibility comes in all shapes and sizes and can vary drastically from person to person, flexible work options help create an inclusive work environment. By building flexibility into the culture of a company, we begin to break down barriers we may not even know are there.
For me, the office environment can be overwhelming. I often become anxious about using the tools I need to do my work. I also find the office environment to be overstimulating and distracting, with small interruptions becoming time-consuming setbacks. Trying to appear “normal” prevents me from bringing my whole self to work, which is why RVA’s culture of flexibility has been such a game changer.
At home I have more control over my environment, I can minimize distractions and use the technology I require to get stuff done. By working remotely, I don’t waste energy hiding who I am, allowing me to focus on what’s important, my job. The relief of being able to work remotely because of culture, rather than a duty to accommodate, helps remove some of my invisible barriers without making me feel like a burden. RVA’s culture of flexibility allows me to customize how I work to maximize productivity while preserving my dignity.
This post is part of a social media series on Flexible Work Arrangements, which features firsthand accounts from RVA’ers on how our culture of flexibility has empowered them to work better, live healthier, and perform stronger. If you’re interested in learning more about RVA’s firm culture, make sure to follow #RVAFlex on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
We think we’ve built a pretty special place to be and to work, and we’re always on the lookout for people to join our driven and dynamic team. If what we do excites you, we encourage you to explore our open positions on our Careers page!