Meet Andrea, a Customer Service Agent at a national train company.
Andrea is a dedicated employee, providing exceptional customer service on platforms and trains. For over a decade, she has been passionately assisting customers with their journeys, offering local information, timetable updates, and answering general inquiries. However, as Andrea reaches the age of 47, she faces new challenges due to the onset of menopause, that are making her job more difficult than usual.
Menopause has brought unexpected physical and mental changes for Andrea.
Her menstrual cycle has become irregular, with extreme bleeding occurring every 15-20 days, lasting up to 10 days at a time. This excessive bleeding leaves her feeling exhausted after every shift, leading to light-headedness and fatigue throughout the day. The physical toll alone is hard to manage, but it’s the psychological impact that is concerning her even more.
Known for her outgoing and confident demeanor, Andrea has noticed a decline in her confidence levels lately. Anxiety about going to work has crept in, and her focus has shifted from her customers’ needs to obsessing over managing her symptoms at work. Increased anxiety is causing noticeable hot flushes, adding to her distress. Andrea’s attendance has started to decline as well, with her taking more days off due to severe symptoms. She fears discussing her condition with her manager, worrying that it may jeopardise her job, which is crucial as she is the main breadwinner for her family of two teenagers.
This challenging situation has taken a toll on Andrea’s mental health.
She feels overwhelmed and withdrawn from her social circle, not wanting to burden her friends and family. Struggling to maintain control both at work and home, Andrea is grappling with feelings of depression and inadequacy.
What should Andrea do? How can her company and others provide support?
The train company has a duty of care to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, including support during the menopausal transition. Implementing a series of measures can help Andrea and her colleagues navigate this phase effectively.
Suggested Company Support:
- Workplace Training: Conduct comprehensive menopause awareness training for all staff members. Educating everyone about menopause and its effects will foster empathy and understanding among colleagues.
- Menopause Workplace Policy: Make the menopause workplace policy visible to all employees. By demonstrating support and concern for staff well-being, the company can create a supportive atmosphere.
- By implementing these steps, Andrea’s company can create a workplace environment that acknowledges and supports her during this transitional period. Empathy and understanding from colleagues and supervisors can make a significant difference in Andrea’s ability to cope with her symptoms while maintaining her important role at the company.
Recognising the challenges faced by employees like Andrea and providing the necessary support is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Empathy, communication, and a well-defined menopause policy can pave the way for a more inclusive and understanding workplace, benefiting both the employees and the company as a whole.