If migraine treatments are covered in your company’s health plan, employees who suffer from this debilitating headache will be thankful for them. In 2015, the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) claimed that 36 million Americans, or 12 percent of the population, dealt with migraine headaches. On a macro level, David Dodick, M.D., chair of the AMF, maintained that migraines cost the nation’s health care system more than $20 billion each year.
As an employer, you should make it a point to help migraine sufferers cope by making changes to the work environment that allow employees to perform their daily tasks. Here are three ways to improve the situation for those struggling with the condition at work:
1. Ensure Clear and Open Communication
It’s recommended practice for the employer to encourage open communication within the workplace, including health-related topics. Speaking with your employees about potential triggers and discussing action plans in an event of a migraine attack is an ideal way of building professional bonds.
Employees are usually hesitant to disclose their migraine issue, but if your relationship with your employees is built on trust, they may be more open with you. This way, employees who sense an oncoming migraine can notify you in time and work from home based on an agreed set of conditions.
2. Reduce Triggers
Consider filtering out the glare of computer screens and positioning computers away from windows or using window blinds. You may need to look into alternative lighting options and provide noise-cancelling headphones, if necessary.
Allocating a dark, quiet room for employees to use in the event of a migraine attack will help them cope with such occurrences. This may be a much-needed respite for migraine sufferers as a brief rest and medication may help them to recover quickly and return to work.
3. Provide Special Work Arrangements
Make adaptations to your employees’ leave policy in the form of flexible, unpaid leave after all vacation time has been exhausted or introduce telecommute arrangements should your employee have a migraine attack.
Encourage employees to seek medical consultation and review their migraine management if they suffer from frequent attacks that affect their work performance. This way, they can get advice on what migraine treatments best suit them and factors that trigger their migraine to alleviate future attacks. Going the extra mile to help employees cope with migraines will increase productivity within the workplace and lower health care costs in the long run.
Emmie Sahlan has a graduate degree in English and has been writing professionally for the past five years. Her niche areas are insurance, credit cards, personal finance and education.