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Alice McKenney on March 1, 2010
A recent study in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has found that having flexible work conditions can lead employees to feel healthier in addition to feeling less crazed. Specifically, a blog on TIME.com states that more flexibility in work schedules is associated with improvements in alertness, sleep quality, tiredness, heart rate and other primary health issues, as well as benefits to secondary health, such as perceived social support in the workplace and sense of community.
We often recommend cancer patients talk to their supervisors about flexible work options when they are going through treatment. The three most common flexible work options are:
1) Working from home, part or full-time. This can eliminate a draining commute, or enable you to lie down when necessary.
2) Implement a full-time but flexible schedule, so you can continue to work full time but a) vary the start and end times of your work day
OR b) take time out during the work day to go to appointments and make the time up by coming to work earlier or working late some nights.
3) Work a part-time schedule during all or part of treatment and recovery.
While both the Cochrane study and the TIME.com article discuss flexible work options in relation to the health of the general population, it is important to understand that in addition to the flexible work benefits they outline, cancer patients reap even more benefits. Flexible work options can help you deal with medication side effects, fatigue, and fitting doctor's appointments into your schedule. While not the only way to make these things easier to handle, it certainly is a helpful one.
For more information on flexible options, as well as planning a course of action, check out this article.