ADHD, adults understanding of the workplace

For those of you who had a part time job when you were at school you will be aware of the etiquette or behaviours that are expected in the workplace. There are general requirements in all workplaces to keep everyone safe and for each employee to do their job. For those of you who are new to the workplace there are requirements that are expected and you will need to think about how your ADHD symptoms may impact upon these.


Let’s have a look at some possible workplace etiquette issues:


This is where people fit in the organisation. Who is the boss, the line manager etc. Every workplace is different and you need to find out who you report to and how you refer to people e.g Mrs Robertson or Mary


You may have regular hours or work shift work. You need to ensure that you check your assigned hours and arrive to work on time. If you are going to be late or unable to attend work then you to let someone know.

Social interactions

On arrival and at break times you will have the opportunity to interact with people. There are some subjects in certain workplaces that are not accepted topics of conversation so you need to find out what these are eg. religion, politics, gender.

Personal Space

When interacting with other people observe their personal space, don’t stand too close while listening or engaging in a conversation and observe body language to help you understand if you are getting this right.


You may be required to work in a team and therefore you will need to be sure that you focus on what is required by the team to get the job done.


People in workplaces make decisions about others from their observations and interactions. Mistaken information can lead to gossip. It is best not to get involved in gossip as it can be untrue and hurtful to others.

Your ADHD might put you at a disadvantage with these workplace requirements. By being aware of your ADHD and what impact impulsivity, hyperactivity, poor attention and social and communication skills have for you, you can put things in place to help you manage.

Sorry, this article is for subscribers only.

Subscribe now to unlock this article,
plus a range of exclusive member benefits:

Sign up today for our 15 day FREE trial

Membership costs just $9.95 per month (AUD) for unlimited access. There’s no lock in contracts and no cancellation fees.

Subscribe now and start exploring the benefits:

  • Over 350 online resources
  • ASD, ID & ADHD support
  • Written & visual tools
  • All learning abilities
  • Ready-to-use downloads
  • Global online community
  • Events, workshops & seminars
  • Login anywhere, anytime!
  • No lock in contracts

Find out more →

Join Login