ADHD and teenagers interacting in the workplace

Each workplace has expectations of how employees manage themselves. There are rules in place to keep employees safe, there are social rules common to all workplaces to be respectful to each other, general rules for punctuality and to do your job according to your job description. All these things are referred to as workplace etiquette. You need to think about how your ADHD might compromise you with these rules and what strategies you can put in place to help yourself.


Be aware of how your ADHD symptoms and what impact impulsivity, hyperactivity, poor attention and social and communication skills has for you. The following points are a good start:

Be respectful

You need to learn who the bosses are and how you refer to them. Is it by a title eg. Mr or is it by given name eg. Barry. Privacy in the workplace needs to be respected and some topics of conversation may not be acceptable eg. religion, a persons’ weight or gender


Everyone is expected to arrive at work at their scheduled start time. You are also expected to return from your breaks promptly.


You may work by yourself or you may have to work in a team with others. This will require you to listen to the requirements of the individual task or team task in order to complete the jobs assigned.

Social skills

During break times there will be social interactions and sometimes these may continue outside the workplace. You will need to be aware of your ability to manage these situations and get help if needed. Remember not to talk over or dominate the conversations that may be happening.

The issues of workplace etiquette can be a bit daunting. All teenagers are developing their personal and social skills so you are not alone. It may be a bit more complex for you but if you focus and target skills that you can work on, you will be able to manage these workplace situations successfully.

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