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Flexible Working

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Rkp92, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Rkp92

    Rkp92 · Newbie

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    Hi all, I was diagnosed with T1 in January this year. As I've been adjusting to the new lifestyle, managing my diabetes at work has become somewhat difficult. Currently enployed in an administration role for the NHS.. I always have to inject at my desk, sometimes do not get a lunch break due to being left alone and heavy workload. As I have been ill on a number of occasions, I've requested flexible working from my employer. I was referred to occupational health about this and they suggested that I trial work from home once a week for a period of time and then see if this helps me manage my condition better. My work (HR & Line Manager) haven't been very supportive with this and suggest that WFH isn't an option because of telephone calls. I work with 6 other colleagues who do the same job and can answer these calls. WFH is an option and can be done with my role as I sometimes am required to work offsite.. Also, in the past on occassions colleagues have wfh. I have a union rep who is helping me in this case, but I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this or give any support. I'm feeling really down and stressed about this & it seems my managers do not understand the seriousness of my diabetes.. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I can't see how WFH is going to help, many find routine helps with control, throwing in 1 day a week WFH is going to up set the routine? (and besides it sounds like your manager is going to come down on you if you don't perform 100% when WFH and inevitably some thing will 'give' WFH. Also in one sentence you say you're left on your own to cover the office stopping you from having lunch and then if WFH others could take the phone calls that sounds at odds to me) but they do have to provide reasonable adjustment for you if required - perhaps set lunch times so you're never in a position of having to 'skip' lunch.

    The key question is what at work is stopping you managing your condition or making it difficult?

    Playing devils advocate so don't take it to heart please.
     
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  3. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm also not sure WFH is going to help if your main problem is how the office set up is working.

    Are you going too high during the day?

    Perhaps OH could speak to your managers to make sure you get breaks at set times so they know your desk will be unmanned then.

    I find on my office days I need to make sure I've got lower carb snacks because my BG is always a lot higher than when I WFH. I'm in a tiny office so there's nowhere to walk around and bring BG levels down.
     
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  4. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and sorry to hear you are feeling a bit stressed and down with the work/diabetes thing.
    I'd agree with the others re WFH unless there is some reason you haven't mentioned.
    I would say that not getting a lunch break is going to impact negatively on yours and anyone's health; a sa type 1 you need time away from desk/phone to test your blood sugar and inject (there is nothing wrong with doing it at your desk btw other than you should be focussing on the dose rather than trying to answer a phone!).
    IMO you should be open about your condition to co workers and be happy to test and inject openly if that's the issue?
    I'd say that it is early days with the diagnosis and thiings will start to feel easier the more routinised your diabetic tasks get.
    I am not sure that going into battle via the union will help your cause but think it is very reasonable to expect a lunch break that allows you time to manage your condition such that you don't get ill later on from not doing so!
    Diabetes UK careline may be of help if you need legal advice but I hope it doesn't get that far.
     
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  5. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there, I know we only have a snapshot of your circumstances but would one day a week working from home make any difference? I work full shifts 24/7 in a job that is fast moving and extremely unpredictable and I wish I could be in an office environment working Monday to Friday. Please don't think I am minimising your issues because we are all different but I reckon there is plenty you could do to improve matters. First I would NOT accept any nonsense from your Line Managers, they are enquired by Law to assess you and make any necessary adjustments, ie they could write up a plan that allows you some time (even if it's 20 minutes) to have your injection and lunch, you saying you have a heavy workload is an excuse, THEY will happily let you carry on without a break, you have to take control of that and take your break!

    You are right that work colleagues/Managers do not understand the seriousness of the condition which is why you need your Rep & someone medical to sit down and get it all written on a plan, ie how often you will need to test/what to do if you're feeling off/when your break will be (with flexibility if safe to do so in case you are suddenly caught up in something you can't leave) and all those things that might happen. Once this plan is signed off, they will have great difficulty ignoring it, it's when there is no agreement that people start taking the you know what.

    In the end, YOU are the only one workwise who is that bothered about learning about the seriousness of diabetes and it sounds to me like you are annoyed that they are dismissing the condition. I suggest you get over that as have most of us and accept that work are mostly bothered about work and your colleagues will not take too kindly if you are given overly preferential treatment.

    Having said that it is ultra important that work allows you to manage your diabetes in the best way possible, if it's any consolation is does get easier as you become (sometimes!!) able to predict your needs.

    I do hope this helps, I know it seems a bit harsh but YOU must insist on your rights, make sure you stick to them especially the lunch & testing but also be flexible when you can. x
     
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  6. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    I might sound a bit like the shop steward but my advice would be to take the lunch break to which you are entitled.

    Get away from your desk and go to the canteen even if only for a 1/2 hour. You will probably perform more effectively in the afternoon if you've had a chance to clear your mind.

    If you can, go outside and get some fresh air. Look at the trees, the birds and the clouds - sounds stupid? I never underestimate the effects of connecting with nature.

    Being chained to the desk does not improve productivity and hopefully you can find somewhere to do your injections and tests along the way.

    At the risk of being a hypocrite, I write this as somebody who used to work through lunch as a matter of routine, but realised that taking a proper break makes no difference to the workload. There's always more to do and if work isn't getting done then there's always tomorrow. The planet keeps on spinning but one's health (both mental and physical) is at risk if you keep pressuring yourself.
     
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    #6 urbanracer, Nov 7, 2019 at 12:22 PM
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  7. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    If you work more than 6 hours a day by law you should take at least 20 min lunch break. I’m a civil servant and work flexible hours which is great as it means that I can take longer lunch hours if I want and vary the times that I come in and/or leave work. The system that I use to book my hours automatically takes off 30 mins lunch break if you haven’t booked out for lunch within 6 hours. Depending on your job you may find flexi time suits you better than WFH but, if they’re offering, try it and see. I used to WFH at least one day a week and got a lot more work done but since dropping down to 3 days pw it’s a rare occurrence.
     
  8. Tangia

    Tangia Type 1 · Newbie

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    I can definitely relate. Type I 39yrs. I have lost so many jobs from insulin reactions. It's been impossible to find FT. Only part time without benefits. Lifetime of insulin reactions which have affected my thought process & ability to focus. People on the jobs were so helpful just getting me a soda. I have to have a soda with me at all times. Currently unable to work. Had a reaction, fell, now neuropathy & beginning CAD. Really depressed. Have to work for a big company not a small business to get benefits. Meds are crucial. I can't tell employers I am a diabetic because of how it affects insurance. I think my husband has lost his jobs because of what the companies have had to paid out $17-$30k(this yr) a yr. Now he is divorcing me & I will have no health care.
     
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