Workplace supports: A guide for employees

By Alina Vayntrub

Expert reviewed by James Emmett, MS

Updated March 22, 2023

Workplace supports: What you need to know, woman working with a tablet as a form of accommodation

At a glance

  • Workplace supports and accommodations often cost little or nothing.

  • You can set up many kinds of supports on your own or ask for help from your manager or co-workers.

  • For some supports, you may need to fill out paperwork to request a workplace accommodation.

Workplace supports are often so simple that other people may not notice them.

Supports can be strategies, processes, or tools — anything that helps you do your job. The goal is to support the different ways people learn, think, and interact at work. 

There are many workplace supports you can set up on your own using free tools or apps. You can try things like blocking time on your calendar to work on a task. Or pausing notifications to help you stay focused. 

It’s also very common to ask managers or co-workers to help you build workplace supports. For example, maybe meetings are hard for you to follow. You could ask for an agenda ahead of time to help you get ready. A follow-up email afterward could list key details or tasks you need to remember. 

Explore workplace supports for common challenges:

Informal workplace supports vs. formal accommodations

Many workplace supports can be provided informally. But sometimes you may need to fill out paperwork to request an .

Going through a formal process may sound daunting. But keep in mind that the process is designed to protect people with disabilities from discrimination. 

More resources

Many workplace supports are free or low-cost. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN), the majority of accommodations cost nothing. And the rest have an average cost of $500. Explore more resources that can help you find the supports you need to thrive at work:

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