Supporting Employees Through Menopause
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Protecting and promoting employee health
Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace. However, many of these women may be struggling to manage the psychological and physiological changes their bodies are going through. These employees are typically at the top of their professional game, offering a wealth of experience and skills.
In the UK, there are nine million women aged between 40 and 60 who could be experiencing some of the numerous symptoms of menopause or perimenopause. Three and a half million of them are over 50 and in the workplace. Six out of every 10 women experiencing menopausal symptoms say it has a negative impact on their work. Menopause can also impact on those supporting someone going through menopause, for example, a relative, partner, colleague or carer.
How can the menopause impact work?
Menopause can have a number of physical and emotional symptoms that can impact work. The duration and severity of these symptoms differ for everyone. Some common symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, mental health and memory lapses. These symptoms can affect a person’s ability to concentrate, their self-confidence, relationship with others, ability to retain information and therefore perform at their best.
Hot flushes can be especially disruptive, as they can occur at any time and cause a sudden feeling of warmth and sweating. This can be embarrassing and make it difficult to focus on work tasks. Sleep disturbances can also make it difficult for a person to get a good night’s rest, which can impact their energy levels and ability to function at their best during the day.
Mood swings and memory lapses can also affect a person’s performance at work. It can be difficult to maintain a positive attitude and perform at your best if you are feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed. Memory lapses can also make it harder to remember important information or complete tasks that require a high level of concentration.