Addressing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the workplace

Postgrad Med. 2014 Sep;126(5):25-30. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2014.09.2797.


Although generally considered a childhood disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can persist into adulthood and impede achievement in the workplace. Core ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can be associated with poor organization, time management, and interpersonal relationships. Employment levels, earning power, and productivity are reduced among individuals with ADHD compared with those without ADHD. Furthermore, the costs of employing individuals with ADHD are higher because of work absences and lost productivity. The primary care provider plays an integral role in managing ADHD symptoms and providing the necessary resources that will help individuals with ADHD succeed in the workplace. Pharmacotherapy can reduce ADHD symptoms and improve functioning; however, it is also important to consider how positive traits associated with ADHD, such as creative thinking, can be used in the workplace. Workplace accommodations and behavioral therapies, such as coaching, can also enhance time management and organizational skills. This review describes how ADHD symptoms affect workplace behaviors, the effect of ADHD on employment and workplace performance, and the management of ADHD in working adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention*
  • Comorbidity
  • Efficiency
  • Employment*
  • Executive Function
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Workplace*