Working with MS

ADJUSTING YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR MS

Find ways to create a workspace that helps meet your needs

No matter what line of work we’re in, I think it’s safe to say that each of us wants to feel productive with the time we put in during the workday. People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often deal with a unique set of challenges that play a part in our daily lives—including our work. Regardless of what those challenges are, there are ways to create a work environment that works for you. With a little creativity and determination, you can strive to be productive and successful each day. Here are a few things that I’ve found help me be more efficient and confident in my work:

  • Start off right: Your habits can be a key factor in either empowering you or dragging you down. Proper sleep, eating well, exercise, and finding joy in life can help you successfully meet your daily obligations. It seems fairly basic, but it’s easier said than done. Making the proper habits a priority may be difficult at first, but it can quickly enable you to be more productive
  • Jot it down: Write down important tasks that need to be done that day and cross them off, or write updates next to the task as you make progress. If part of your day involves conference calls or meetings, take notes on important topics that are discussed and/or make a note of any items that may require follow-up. Something I find helpful is recording a voice memo on my phone or computer—this can be really handy when time is limited, and it can help with recalling important information. Learn more about dealing with memory issues and read tips for staying on task
  • Get comfortable: Temperature and noise level, among other things, may impact your ability to work productively. If possible, approach the proper people in your workplace and request that the temperature be adjusted or use noise-canceling earbuds to drown out the noise. You typically should not have to disclose your MS to your employer when making these types of requests
  • Impress yourself: Outside of the daily tasks you are required to complete, set realistic goals to be accomplished either at the end of a week or by the end of each day. These goals should be attainable, with a focus on adding positivity and success to your day. Your coworkers will appreciate your positivity, and it will also help build your confidence
  • Have a talk: If you find yourself at a point where disclosing your MS to your manager or HR may be necessary, only provide the information you feel comfortable disclosing. Bringing up your health to an employer isn’t something many of us are eager to do. It’s okay if you’re nervous for this conversation, but try to get the nerves out beforehand so that you’re able to walk into that meeting with confidence. Get more tips on how to talk to your employer about your MS here.
Workers chatting

I hope some of these tips help you feel more comfortable with your MS while working. Remember, how you handle your MS in the workplace is up to you—each person’s situation is different.