Crohn’s and work: ongoing stress, flexible schedules

It’s been a while, but I’ve found some time in between rushing to get work done, getting sick, dealing with the backlog, etc. to be able to post again.

First, some more stats, because I know we all love stats: the European Federation of Crohn’s and Colitis Associations (EFCCA) published a report in May based on interviews with nearly 5,000 Europeans with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis on the impact of their disease on their quality of life. The numbers were new but the conclusions were not: inflammatory bowel diseases have a strong negative impact on quality of life. Crohn’s is worse in this way than UC, and women are affected more than men. Ongoing concerns about obtaining and maintaining employment are a significant source of stress for patients old enough to work. Many patients also believe that their doctors don’t understand the all-encompassing nature of the effects their conditions have on their lives. The report calls for more research into how the quality of life for patients can be improved.

One way that workplaces can become more Crohn’s-friendly — well, friendlier to just about everybody — is to allow employees to have flexible work schedules and/or work remotely. A relatively recent article about flexible hours and working form home also discusses how the ability to spend time in the office to interact with colleagues is also valuable, and how some employees have come up with tricks to get around the remaining stigma about working remotely.

The work world seems to slowly be recognizing that employees can make valuable contributions to their workplaces even if they aren’t physically present all the time. This is a positive step, and even though there is still a long way to go, it is good to see some progress being made.

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