Strategies for the workplace – autism spectrum conditions

Understanding what support to ask for in a workplace is not always easy for adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions.

Our resource aims to give you some starting points of things that might help you in a workplace to help you sustain employment long term.

Autism is a condition that impacts on everyone differently, therefore what works for one person might not work for another. Use this resource as a guide to explore some options that you might want to consider.

Breaking down tasks

Large tasks can feel overwhelming, knowing where to start and trying to plan and prioritise around this can be difficult. Try writing down the jobs that you need to do to complete the large tasks, try breaking large tasks into multiple smaller tasks and setting time limits for when you want to achieve these to make these tasks feel less overwhelming.


Thinking about your environment and how you can better manage this may help. Consider if you could be given a desk or work area that is in a corner away from people walking past and not in the middle of lots of noise. Use ear defenders or headphones to block out unnecessary noises and reduce sensory overload. Ask for bulbs above your desk to be removed to reduce any glare or oversensitivity to lighting.

Managing Burn Out

Make effective use of break times, know where the quiet spaces are at work and use these on your breaks to give you time to recoup. If you can then go for a short walk on your lunchbreak to give you time to escape from the work environment and recharge again for the afternoon.

Managing meetings

Sit near the door at meetings and take some post it notes in with you. If you struggle to speak out in the meeting then jot down your idea on post-it notes and hand them to your manager during the meeting or pass them over at the end. If you need to leave the room, excuse yourself to the bathroom to give yourself a minute to recharge.

Clear communication

Be clear on your communication needs, if you are asked to do something and you are unsure then ask the person to repeat it again and make some notes then repeat the instructions back to gain clarification on if you have understood the task properly.

Use Lists

Lists are often an extremely helpful tool for adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions, making a to do list of everything you need to do, then cross it off – this way you will not forget anything but will also have a sense of achievement as you mark things off the list.

These are just a few ideas, if you feel you would like more support then contact our team to ask about our workplace coaching and mentoring support via our In Work Programme.

If you found this resource useful you may benefit from our workplace coaching via our Access to Work programme.

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