Imagine for a moment that you’re in pain — a lot of pain. No matter how you sit or position yourself, you seem to still be hurting. You spent months on bed rest and now use a wheelchair to get around, but even though it’s progress, the progress is slow. It’s not just the physical pain that’s an issue — your disability has caused you to be emotionally drained, as well.
A common misconception about a workplace accommodation is that it involves providing an employee with a new chair or an ergonomic keyboard. This simply is not the case, as many return-to-work or stay-at-work efforts involve a mental health need. In fact, I recently assisted a 34-year-old employee return to work after a short-term disability leave prompted by depression and anxiety.
In a recent success story from a participant in our Workplace Possibilities Program, it took approximately 19 days for an organization to recoup the cost for an executive assistant (we’ll call her Jennifer) to work more productively with less pain.
As a Workplace Possibilities consultant with The Standard, I’ve seen firsthand how time-consuming it can be for an HR department to handle ergonomic requests. In this video blog post, you’ll learn how I was able to help significantly reduce the burden for an HR team that was working with their facilities department and handling more than 300 ergonomic requests a year.
To think some of the scents we smell every day — perfume, soap or lunch food — could be overwhelming enough to physically disable a person might sound unbelievable. For one employee with extreme allergies caused by fragrance sensitivity, it was a very real, burdensome issue. She began to have severe reactions, which began to limit her ability to perform on the job and increase her absences. Some creative thinking from our Workplace Possibilities on-site consultant, along with suitable accommodations, steered her situation into a positive direction. See more of this story in my video below.
When employees are away from work for medical reasons, you know it costs your company in terms of lost productivity. At the recent Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) Annual International Conference, I co-presented with an employer that uses an innovative absence and disability management model to address the productivity loss caused by employee absences — and the results are very positive.