Jackie is a team leader in medium-sized financial services company, working in a busy modern office near Leeds. Although a very productive team member she's had back problems for many years and occasional spells of absence have disrupted her career progression and affected her confidence. Her manager could see that she wasn't achieving her true potential so consulted the HR Leader who set up a workplace assessment with AbilityNet.
When she met our assessor Jackie explained that she'd had a sporting accident in her late teens and that all she could do was manage the pain - there is no prospect of it being dealt with by surgery. She was pleased to have a chance to discuss options, but was doubtful that much could be done.
Our Assessor suggested a number of options to help ensure that Jackie could move around freely during the working day, to avoid sitting in one position all day. This included small modifications to her desk and chair, to make it easier to move around, as well as training in the use of Voice Recognition software.
Jackie's computer already had voice commands built in so a low cost specialist package was added to help with dictating documents and she upgraded to a bluetooth headset so that she could work away from her desk.
The most important part of the package was several days training in the use of the software and headset. The days were spread out over a few months so that Jackie could build up her skills and evenetually be able to perform specific tasks entirely through her headset.
She can now spend set periods sitting at her desk, working on tasks which are best carried out on screen, but can then take a stroll around the office to dictate letters, review her work or simply say hello to her colleagues.
Jackie's productivity has rocketed. She's now on a internal fast track management programme and although she still has to deal with back pain her outlook on life has been transformed.
* This case study is based on a real person but her name has been changed.