Five Ways Flexible Working Arrangements Help Employees With Chronic Illness
When the Doctor first told me I had leukemia, I went out of my way to hide it. The last thing I wanted to do was to tell my boss and co-workers. I didn’t want to go through another uncomfortable, awkward conversation about cancer. I thought I could hide it. But I soon realized that I couldn’t avoid them, and if I didn’t tell my boss, he couldn’t help me. Fortunately, I trusted my boss; I said to him, “I have leukemia,” and he supported me. The keystone of his support was my employer’s flexible working arrangements.
The United Nations, at the most senior level, has endorsed and promoted progressive, flexible working arrangements for over a decade. Diagnosed with leukemia in January 2015, I was fortunate enough to have a manager who understood the advantages and disadvantages of these provisions. While undergoing medical treatment, I was able to cope with working full time, initially at least, by telecommuting two days a week. I scheduled face to face activities for the office, and writing and reading for my telecommute days.
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