We know that finding out that one of your employees suffers with migraines can be a bit daunting, especially if you don’t have any close friends or family who also suffer with migraines. You want to support your employee and help them, not only so that their work isn’t affected, but also so that they feel happy and confident in their job while looking after their health.
Here are a few easy and inexpensive ways to support your employees with migraines.
Establish a scent-free policy
This doesn’t cost a thing, and it can make a huge difference. Migraine sufferers are very sensitive to strong smells such as perfumes and cleaning fumes. For some sufferers, coming into contact with strong smells can trigger a full-blown migraine attack, while for others it continuously distracts them from their work.
To establish a scent-free policy;
- Ask that employees refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, and other fragrances to work
- Use natural, scent and chemical free cleaning products where possible
- Move the employee(s) to an area with good ventilation and away from areas where scents are stronger (for example, sitting next to the kitchen where burnt toast is a possibility is not ideal)
Keep noise levels down
Loud and repetitive noise can be a migraine trigger for some sufferers. Then, when a migraine sufferer is experiencing an attack, they become more sensitive to noise and it can increase their pain. For this reason, helping employees who suffer with migraines to work in a quieter environment is key. Moving the employee(s) to a less busy area of the office or workplace can be a big help, as can providing noise cancelling headphones.
Adjust the lighting
Blue light and flickering fluorescent lights are both bad news for migraine sufferers. If you can change fluorescent lighting to more natural lighting it can really help. Other helpful lighting changes include seating the employee so that they are not directly opposite a window where the sun could be directly in their eyes, and providing an anti-glare filter for their computer screen.
Allowing those who suffer with migraines the option of working from home when they are suffering from, or recovering from, an attack can make a huge difference. Flexible working hours and flexible leave can also make a huge difference. It can be mutually beneficial too. By making provisions for flexible working, employees are more likely to be loyal, productive, and to do their best for you in return.
Make a safe space
Identifying a space where an employee who is suffering from a migraine attack can go to, can be a huge help. Just giving them a dark and private room where they can go to rest can make the difference between making it through the rest of the workday, or experiencing a much worse and long-lasting migraine attack. It doesn’t need to be a big area, even a disused stationery cupboard would do as long as it’s quiet and dark!