About half of the female population, or about 26% of the world’s population, is of reproductive age and therefore menstruate. With more women entering the workforce, progressive employers are considering the impact menstruation would have on their working capacity and how to best support them in the workplace. The aim is to create a working environment that is equally comfortable for both men and women by bridging the gap. When workplaces cater to the menstrual needs of women it could not only boost morale and workers’ welfare, but likely cut down sick days and increase the business’ productivity.
Here are five easy suggestions to offer support –
- Provision of free menstrual products- by offering pads and tampons in the workplace, female employees would be able to be more prepared., It also promotes changing of menstrual products regularly. Toilets should also be equipped with sanitary bags and bins to dispose of them in a hygienic manner.
- Offer herbal teas to help relieve period cramps – scientific evidence and traditional remedies both point to herbal teas as a viable anecdote for menstrual pains. Ingredients like ginger and fennel have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. Supplementing employee diets with herbal concoctions during their menstrual cycles would help relieve symptoms that could deter their focus and productivity, allowing them to work more effectively.
- Contribute to managing the stress of your employees – between hormones and period pains, working during their cycle can be a huge source of stress for female employees. Apart from affecting their physical and mental health, high stress can deter creativity, innovation and overall employee engagement. Offering yoga and meditation classes to employees can help alleviate stress and promote positive wellbeing.
- Educating the workforce- conducting healthcare seminars on menstruation and the symptoms experienced apart from just bleeding, will foster understanding and empathy amongst workers and create a healthy environment. Furthermore, routine check-ups for female employees will aid in the timely diagnosis of menstrual disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), to name a few.
- Yoga and pranayama classes in the workforce– menstrual cramps are painful affairs that often impact women’s daily functioning and common remedies include painkillers that have negative long-term impacts. Healthy alternatives are yoga and pranayama pose which reduces pain and strengthens the body. With regular practice, this would help their bodies to develop resilience and is a long-term solution.