The shift in working trends over the past few months have presented new challenges with regards to working through menopause.
For individual workers, it can have some positives – heavy periods are much easier to manage at home. But for others, it’s much harder. Anxiety levels are higher due to isolation, the pressure of work continues – and that doesn’t take into account what it might be like to live with a menopausal partner.
Living with someone who’s not sleeping, battling brain fog, and wants all the windows open when you want them closed has a direct impact on your life too – both personally and professionally.
Plus, leaders who are used to taking visual cues to help understand what’s going on with their team may not always attribute remote management issues to menopause symptoms faced by themselves or their team members.
If you’re a leader…
• You don’t need to be an expert in menopause but you should be able to signpost to relevant internal resources that help your team member with menopause related challenges and support. These could be information points on your intranet, LMS or contact details for your Employee Assistance Programme.
• If you think a team member is struggling because of menopause, asking a simple question like ‘how do you feel about work right now on a scale of 1 – 10’ is an easy way of opening up a conversation. But remember if someone doesn’t want to talk about menopause they don’t have to!
If you’re experiencing symptoms…
• This is a unique opportunity to set up a home work area and schedule that suits you and your family. Use a fan to keep you cool, keep notes during online meetings, take regular breaks and tackle difficult tasks only when your energy levels are high.
• Check out Brain fm. It’s a scientifically backed app that plays music designed for the brain to enhance focus, relaxation, meditation, and sleep within 10 – 15 minutes of use.
If your partner’s experiencing symptoms…
• Do your homework and read up on menopause to help you understand what’s going on.
• Keep the communication lines open. Ask what you can do to help and don’t be afraid to talk about the impact on you. Chances are if your partner’s not sleeping, you’re not either. You’re in this together!
For guidance on the next best steps to ensure your organisation continues to attract and retain talent through the current time and beyond please email me to schedule a call.
• Review the current menopause support you have in place to assess what’s working well and where additional resources are needed to keep those with symptoms healthy and engaged.
• Discuss virtual training options that will not only support leaders, those experiencing symptoms and their partners, but sustain the business too.
• Ensure your organisation is set up to be a menopause friendly, positive and supportive employer wherever your employees are based.