Thu 12 Oct 2023

Effective adjustments for dealing with hormonal fluctuations in the workplace

A recent survey asked 2000 workers what they thought was most helpful. 

Awareness of the difficulties faced by women in the workplace in relation to both menstrual health and menopause has been significantly raised over the past couple of years.  The hormonal fluctuations which contribute to the symptoms suffered by menstruating and peri/menopausal workers can also be experienced by workers who suffer symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, pregnancy, miscarriage, breast feeding, IVF and those undergoing cancer treatment.  These hormonal fluctuations can therefore affect workers throughout their career and are not confined to certain age groups or times of life.  Employers also need to mindful that transgender and non-binary employees can also be affected depending on their physiology.

A recent survey by accessible design specialists Motionspot in conjunction with the Women Work Summit asked 2000 office workers what would attract them to work more days in their current workplace. 

For office workers struggling with menstrual symptoms, 37% of respondents to the survey said fresh air is the most common feature that would attract them to work more days in the office, and this rose to 41% of respondents dealing with peri/menopause symptoms.  Other features sought by office workers include comfortable desk seating, natural light, a private room to decompress, temperature-controlled places and focus rooms with fewer distractions. 

The survey highlights that the most common features workers feel would help that are often unavailable include a place to lie down, a hot shower and a dark or dimly lit space.  Businesses and consequently their office spaces come in all shapes and sizes, so the facilities that can be provided to help support workers will vary.  What can be done by all employers is to ask their workers what they can do to make the workplace more comfortable for them. 

Another important takeaway from this survey is that not only do the answers given overlap with many desired workplace features for people with neurodivergent conditions, but in many cases would provide a more pleasant working environment for everyone.  More fresh air, natural light and comfortable seating would likely make us all want to spend more time in the office. 


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