Going through menopause while working can be particularly tricky.
Try mentioning the word “menopause” at work and it’s likely to cause awkward pauses, embarrassing giggle or even snide remark at a woman’s expense.
With the likes of hot flashes, brain fog, mood swings, anxiety low energy, poor memory, lack of concentration, insomnia (the list goes on)...
It can be a huge challenge trying to cope with these symptoms while being functional and productive at times.
(On some days, you might just want to stay in bed and hide under your blanket, let alone being at work)
Here’s the thing: Menopause Discrimination in the workplace is real, even if it’s unintended.
At the same time, there are many simple things that companies can do to help manage these pesky symptoms and allow women to excel in their work
Some examples of how menopause affects women at the workplace:
- Hot flashes can cause sweating, redness on the face, neck, and chest, and dizziness can be embarrassing, especially when we are required to constantly interact with others.
- Insomnia, low energy, brain fog, poor memory and lack of concentration can lead to tiredness, inability to focus, easily distracted and poorer work performance.
- Anxiety, stress, mood swings and irritability and loss of confidence can lead to unintended emotional outbursts, poorer decision making, emotional detachment, poorer communication, difficulty in working with others.
- There are even cases of women experiencing disciplinary action due to poor work performance.
Because of things like these, many women are actually leaving work during menopause as they feel threatened or unable to cope with these symptoms.
At the same time, there are many simple yet impactful changes that can be done in the workplace that can help women to be more productive, and even excelling at their work.
Here are some changes we would like to see in our workplace
Flexibility is important where the menopause symptoms are problematic. This could include a move from full-time to part-time or a more ad-hoc working style.
It can be as simple as allowing for late arrivals where a woman has had disturbed sleep.
Ability to work flexibly or from home during extreme symptoms.
Being able to have time off or change shift patterns or conditions of work when they need relief from symptoms.
Allow regular breaks and opportunities to manage symptoms when needed like taking medication, cooling off, recompose themselves, leave the office to relax and cool down.
Allow women to switch to different tasks on bad days.
Allow women to take time off during the working days to attend medical appointments.
Allow flexible to rearrange schedules, meetings, presentations when needed
Better ventilation, fans and temperature control.
Easy access to toilets, cold water, and rest area.
Allow more comfortable work attire and uniforms.
What Other Changes Would You Like To See In Our Workplace?
Anything else you would like to add to this list? Do let us know so that we can create a more comprehensive list.
How has your experience been trying to manage menopause symptoms while working?
What other support can our companies give to help us better manage our symptoms?
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