Before we start supporting individuals with ADHD in the workplace, it is crucial to understand that ADHD is not just a “problem with concentration”. It is a set of neurological traits that can affect many aspects of a person’s functioning, such as planning, organization, memory, attention, impulse control, and the ability to relax. It is exceptionally important to understand that one cause can result in very different pictures. For example, one person with ADHD may have trouble concentrating in a noisy environment, while another may need sensory stimuli, such as music or movement, to focus better.

ADHD does not affect everyone in the same way.

Individualization is key to effectively supporting individuals with ADHD. What works for one person may not work for another, and what is effective at one moment may not be as effective at another.

For example, the “pomodoro” technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break, may be very effective for some people with ADHD, but others may find it frustrating and disruptive to their work flow.

Headphones with music: Listening to music during work usually helps increase concentration. Sometimes, however, music can be an additional stimulus that distracts and causes dispersion.

Regular breaks: Taking regular breaks can help people with ADHD regenerate energy and focus on tasks. However, there are days (e.g. hyperfocus) when interrupting work can lead to difficulty returning to the task and increased frustration.

The Value of Individual Approach

Because of this varied response to different support strategies, it is important that the approach is individualized and flexible. It is crucial that people with ADHD have the opportunity to experiment with different strategies and find those that are most effective for them.

Ultimately, understanding the complexity of ADHD and tailoring support to the individual needs is an important factor in the professional success of people with ADHD.