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  • Writer's pictureIt’s Complicated

Tips for surviving corporate with chronic illnesses

I started my big girl corporate job back in November 2022 and it wasn't easy. My role is home based, and in the beginning I only went into the office 4 times for inductions and some training; I was struggling. The second I'd finish with work I would sleep, no matter what the time was. My body hurt so bad from sitting for 8 hours at the desk. Things were moving fast and I felt overwhelmed and found it difficult to keep up at times. It took a good few months before I finally felt settled and now I am doing so much better dealing with chronic illnesses and work.

One of the biggest things that helped me that I am very grateful for is my line manager. She listens, understands, supports and fights on our behalf when needed. I know not everyone gets a manager that works with you and doesn't make you feel like you don't belong because you have disabilities but I hope you have someone who does make your working life a little easier.

My tips include:

  • Be open about your conditions and needs. If you don't ask you won't get.

  • Do the occupational health assessment and ensure you receive your copy of the report and that everything is actioned.

  • Speak up if something from the OH report isn't working well for you and if you need amendments to the recommendations.

  • You may need to chase some things but it's for your benefit so ensure all your adjustments are correct and actioned.

  • Tell your manager when you're not feeling too good and need some extra time.

  • Keep plenty of snacks and water around.

  • Keep pain relief around, e.g. medicines, hot water bottle, heat patches, sprays and gels etc.

  • Have a leg/foot rest.

  • Take regular rest breaks and move around.

  • Warmth helps my pain so much so I have a small throw on me and a mini heater next to me during colder months.

  • Find a good sleep routine that works for you and is easily adjustable if you work shift patterns.

Those are just some tips for making your work day a little easier. I work from home but all of the above can be adjusted for working in the office. The main thing is to find what works for you so you can do your work without flaring and being uncomfortable. I will be making a separate post on occupational health information and product recommendations!


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