Around 1.8 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the US in 2019, and for those living with cancer, work can be an important part of their life. While providing much-needed financial security, including health benefits, it also offers routine, a sense of normality, and boosts self-esteem. However, for many people undergoing treatment or survivors wanting to return to work after cancer, the standard full-time, in-office nine-to-five job may not be the right fit anymore. Working at home can offer the best of both worlds. You can maintain your career but avoid the complications and rigid structure of being in the office.
Work Is Good For Your Health
It’s widely known that a steady job in safe working conditions is good for both our physical and mental health. There is growing evidence that job loss and unemployment can be detrimental to your health and linked to various negative health effects. That’s why it’s so important that employees are supported to enable them to remain at work or return as soon as possible where appropriate. While the cancer journey can feel like a lonely struggle to many people, maintaining a work pattern can help a person stay mentally active, strengthen their sense of purpose, provide structure, and provide real opportunities to achieve.
Benefits Of Working From Home
Working from home when undergoing treatment or in recovery can often help a person perform their job better than if they came into work. Working remotely can also make a big difference in helping their feelings of anxiety about managing any embarrassing side effects in private. Of course, it also means that they can avoid a long commute, and gives them the ability to work around periods of fatigue. There’s also an added advantage if they own a pet. Extensive research has found that pet therapy can have profound benefits for a person going through chemotherapy. Studies show that working alongside a pet can reduce feelings of loneliness and promote a sense of well-being. It can even help reduce the need for pain medications.
What You Need To Consider
Certain jobs cannot be easily carried out remotely, so you may have to consider whether there’s an alternative role available. Alternatively, your current position might be suitable to do from home, but it may need to be adapted to fit in with your current health and lifestyle. Speak to your employer about whether there’s any special equipment you need to work at home, and anything else that will allow you to work effectively. If you experience fatigue and memory loss due to your cancer or chemotherapy, you may not be able to perform your job to your usual standard and speed. It’s helpful to talk to your employer about how you are affected by your treatment, and what you believe you can reasonably achieve from home.
Many people who are undergoing cancer treatment or are in recovery are perfectly able to continue to carry out at least some aspects of their job. They can still be valuable assets to the business; they may just require extra support. Working from home can help someone living with cancer stay connected with their colleagues, feel less isolated, and provide a welcome sense of normality in a world that can suddenly seem unpredictable and frightening.