Remote Work Isn’t The Future: It’s The NOW
This past week, the internet has been flooded with news surrounding remote work, as employers are flocking to adapt and train their employees to work from home. It’s funny to me that it took a global crisis for businesses to realize that it’s not expensive nor difficult to allow their employees to work remotely.
Remote work is something I’m more than familiar with. In 2018, I was forced to leave my dream job as my treatment for Lyme disease required me to be on an IV for 6 hours a day, which was not compatible with a traditional 9-5. Although my mind and ambition were perfectly intact, the disease prevented me from physically working in an office. I began to worry that there was no place for someone like me in the American workforce. It was not designed for people who suffer from illness or disability.
I saw a huge flaw in our system here. Why was I, someone incredibly capable of contributing to the workforce, unable to be accommodated based on an illness I could not control? I never asked to be chronically ill.
I soon learned I was not alone. Half of the U.S. population will be living with at least one chronic condition by the end of 2020, according to Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. Today, that figure stands at 133 million Americans, reports the National Health Council.
We founded Chronically Capable last year, working to connect chronically ill individuals to flexible work opportunities. Our team works remotely 365 days a year, and promotes the remote work culture on a daily basis.
Many companies are not currently taking advantage of the benefits of hiring chronically ill persons, as employers are concerned about the costs of accommodating, when in reality, these are minimal and fruitful investments. As we make more companies aware of the potential gains and elevate their success stories, we can quickly get more individuals with illnesses and disabilities into the workplace, where they can thrive.
Since COVID-19 struck America, businesses across the nation are finally beginning to understand the concept of remote work. My hope is that employers will see that if they are able to accomodate “healthy” employees during a global health emergency, they are more than able to entertain remote work schedules for chronically ill individuals 365 days a year.
I encourage business leaders to reach out to me, to voice their concerns, and I promise you, I will ease them. Let’s work to make the world a more inclusive place.
We sat down with leadership at KeepTruckin, a Chronically Capable partner, to find out what makes their workplace inclusive for chronically ill and disabled employees.
Period cramps are the leading cause of missed school and work in women under 30.
Internships are crucial for gaining the necessary skills and experience to embark on your professional journey. Not only are internships a key milestone during college, but they also represent a unique opportunity to gain experience when changing careers or reentering the workforce.
Do I have to disclose my disability to my employer? What accommodations am I entitled to request? Can I be paid less because of my reasonable accommodation? So many questions might arise as you go through the employment process.
There are simply no excuses for not hiring chronically ill workers. Doing so would detrimentally reduce your available talent pool.
Let’s start by getting this straight: you do not have to disclose anything about your health to an employer. If you wish to disclose, you’re allowed to disclose at any point in time, whether that be during the interview, during the negotiation process, once you’ve started, or even three years into your job.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the monumental passage of the ADA and the 75th annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in buildings, transit, schools, planes, and work enviornments, the ADA finally recognized people with disabilities as the valuable members of society that they are, following years of discrimination and opression prior.
Living with a chronic condition is incredibly time- consuming. Whether it’s frequent doctor appointments, blood draws, treatment schedules, or taking the time to rest, our days are jam-packed to the brim. I know this first hand as I’ve struggled with Lyme disease since 2015.