The State of Remote Work for Individuals with ADHD in 2023

The latest research on the cross-section of ADHD and Remote Work

The landscape of work has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with the rise of remote work becoming a prominent feature of many industries. This shift has brought both advantages and challenges, particularly for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate attention. It’s estimated that 8.7 Million adults live with ADHD in the United States.

As remote work becomes more prevalent, prescriptions for ADHD medications such as “Adderall” have skyrocketed in 2023, shedding light on an issue that may have gone less-detected in the age of 100% in-person work. Over a series of articles we’ll explore the current state of remote work for ADHD sufferers, drawing insights from academic and scientific research to shed light on the challenges they face, the strategies that can be employed, and the implications of medication use.

The ADHD Experience in Remote Work Settings

To comprehend the challenges faced by individuals with ADHD in remote work settings, it is essential to understand the nature of ADHD itself. ADHD is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. In a traditional office environment, structure and routine can help mitigate some of these symptoms. However, remote work can disrupt these routines, making it challenging for individuals with ADHD to maintain focus and stay organized.

Research Insights: Research by Kofler (2020) highlights the potential difficulties individuals with ADHD face in remote work environments. The study found that the lack of external structure and cues in remote settings can exacerbate attention-related problems, leading to decreased productivity and increased distractions. Additionally, a study by Szulc, McGregor, Cakir points out that remote work can blur the boundaries between work and home life to be much more burdensome for ADHD-neurodivergent individuals, potentially intensifying the challenges of maintaining focus and time management while also severely impacting Work Life Balance.

Challenges and Strategies

1. Time Management and Procrastination One of the key challenges individuals with ADHD encounter in remote work is managing their time effectively and avoiding procrastination. The absence of direct supervision can make it tempting to delay tasks or become sidetracked by unrelated activities.

Research Insights: Research conducted by Ptacek Et al. (2019) highlights the difficulties individuals with ADHD experience in managing their time. The study emphasizes the importance of establishing structured routines and using tools such as time management apps and reminders to enhance productivity.

2. Distractions and Impulsivity Remote work environments can be rife with distractions, ranging from household chores to social media. For individuals with ADHD, resisting these distractions can be especially challenging due to impulsivity.

See our article about ADHD and Building the Skill of Impulse Control.

3. Lack of Social Interaction One of the unanticipated consequences of remote work is the reduction in face-to-face social interactions. While this may be favorable for some, individuals with ADHD often benefit from regular social cues and interactions to stay engaged and motivated.

Research Insights: This study conducted in Japan by Ando Et al (2021) highlights the unique mental health struggles that isolation from COVID-19 introduced to ADHD sufferers.

Embracing Opportunities for Inclusivity

1. Flexible Work Arrangements One of the advantages of remote work is its potential for flexibility. Tailoring work hours to align with periods of higher focus and productivity can significantly benefit individuals with ADHD.

Research Insights: A study by Ishimoto et al. (2023) shows that those with ADHD symptoms benefited from flexible work schedules since workers were able to capitalize on productive windows, where in the workplace, structured time schedules did not allow this benefit.

2. Assistive Technologies Technology can be a valuable asset for individuals with ADHD. From task management apps to noise-cancelling headphones, these tools can help create a conducive work environment.

Research Insights The “Journal of Special Education Technology” published a study by Grey et al. (2018) that highlights the effectiveness of assistive technologies in supporting individuals with ADHD. These tools can aid in organization, time management, and reducing distractions.

See Our Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Government Assistance and Employer Support for Severe ADHD.

The Role of Medication

1. Medication as a Tool In addition to the strategies mentioned, medication can play a significant role in managing the symptoms of ADHD in remote work settings. Medications such as stimulants (e.g., methylphenidate, amphetamine) and non-stimulants (e.g., atomoxetine) are commonly prescribed to enhance focus and reduce impulsivity.

Research Insights Research by Shaw et al. (2019) in the “Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology” emphasizes the effectiveness of medication in improving attention and overall functioning in individuals with ADHD. However, it is important to note that medication effects can vary from person to person, and a thorough assessment by a medical professional is crucial before considering medication as an option.

2. Combining Medication and Strategies The combination of medication and strategies tailored to remote work challenges can yield optimal results for individuals with ADHD. Medication can provide a foundation of improved focus, while strategies help individuals manage their time, distractions, and social interactions.


As remote work continues to shape the modern workforce, it is imperative to consider the unique challenges faced by individuals with ADHD. While remote work can amplify certain difficulties related to focus, time management, and social interaction, it also presents opportunities for customization and accommodation. By drawing insights from academic and scientific research, we can create a more inclusive remote work environment that supports the diverse needs of individuals with ADHD. Through a combination of structured routines, assistive technologies, flexible arrangements, and, where appropriate, medication, remote work can become a space where individuals with ADHD can thrive professionally and personally while managing their symptoms effectively.

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