Asking for What You Need When Working With RA
Raising the issue of making changes at work to accommodate your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be difficult. Many of us feel uncomfortable asking for things — even when those things are reasonable.
Here are some important things to keep in mind before you begin a conversation with your supervisor about working with RA:
Consider what you really need
Take some time to think about the physical challenges you face at work because of your RA. Next, try to come up with some solutions for those challenges. Keep in mind that an occupational therapist can be very helpful with this.
Know the policies of your employer
Before asking for specific changes, find out your employer's policies on disabilities and people with special needs.
Talk to your supervisor
Talk with your immediate supervisor about working with RA and how it affects you.
Share your ideas for improving your workspace. Do your research, and make sure you know details about the items you are requesting, including their cost. Come prepared with back-up ideas, too.
Check in with your supervisor regularly. It is always a good idea to follow up with your supervisor on topics that are important to you, including your rheumatoid arthritis. And it gives you a chance to let him or her know how you're doing. If your supervisor is not responding to your requests, your employer's policies may help you decide whom to contact next.