Living with migraines is hard enough as it is, without having to struggle in a workplace which doesn’t take the condition seriously or make adjustments for migraine sufferers. More than 90% of those who have migraines say that they cannot work or function normally while in the grips of an attack.
Considering that as many as one in seven people are affected by migraines, with migraines being the leading cause of disability in those aged under 50, that can have a big impact on the workplace. It doesn’t need to though. Supporting those who suffer from migraines can make a huge difference for the sufferer, and also for the productivity and success of the business too.
Flexible working is one adjustment which can make a huge difference. Trying to battle through work while in the grip of a migraine attack can help to prolong an attack, and doesn’t lead to good work being done. In fact, the equivalent of 43 million workdays are lost due to presenteeism in the UK, and the cost of this has been set at £4.4 billion! Allowing employees to take time out and return to work at their best is surely preferable. Even allowing for working from home can make a big difference.
As for adjustments in the workplace itself, workplace accommodations such as making sure there are quiet low-lit spaces for recovery, making sure that computers have anti-glare filters, and using scent-free cleaning materials are all easy fixes, and can make a huge difference to the impact which migraines can have. Small adjustments like these not only help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by reducing common migraine triggers (harsh light, chemical scents) but also help to improve the quality of life for employees. Happy employees are far more productive and helpful than unhappy ones.