More than 1 in 2 Americans are now living with at least one chronic disease. This accounts for $2 trillion annually in medical costs, plus an additional $794 billion annually in lost workforce productivity. Even if you don’t have a chronic condition yourself, there’s a decent chance you’ll soon be caring for someone who does. Over 32 million Americans have served as an unpaid caregiver to someone age 50+ in the past 12 months, and this number is growing as our population ages and people live longer. Employers, especially small to mid-sized businesses, are hard hit, as they often don’t have back-up team members who can cover for a colleague who misses work or is less productive because they’re dealing with their health or that of a family member.
The good news is that there are many low-cost, high-impact actions employers can take to accommodate and support their employees living with a chronic condition or serving as a caregiver. This boosts employee health, productivity and satisfaction, benefitting the individual and the business alike. As seen on MSNBC’s Your Business, here are actionable tips for employers based on research among more than 1.75 million registered members of MyHealthTeams’ 29 social networks for people living with a chronic condition.
For additional insights, check out this article from MyHealthTeams co-founder and CEO Eric Peacock.
Employers can increase productivity and job satisfaction for employees living with any chronic condition by being flexible about when and where they work, making small accommodations in the office to make them more effective, promoting wellness, and encouraging them to connect with others going through the same thing. Below are a few condition-specific tips: