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MSer and HR expert Rebecca Armstrong reflects on how lock down could lead to positive progress in the workplace

Rebecca Armstrong2this one.jpgDuring this period of lock down, the world has had to adapt overnight. Restrictions have meant that work for many has looked very different and employers have had to embrace this and put in place measures. In this article, I reflect on how this may help employers understand multiple sclerosis (MS) and similar conditions and, importantly, how this might create benefits for people with MS longer term.

Resilience

When it comes to resilience (that is, the ability to bounce back) and how able we are to cope with changes, we could argue that MS gives us a head start. We have been training for this since diagnosis and are used to having to adapt to new circumstances, often with very little notice.

When we reflect on the last few months there are a few things that occur to me.

One of the most significant changes most employers were asked to make was to allow people to work from home if they could, and to support them to do so. This really challenged the mind-set of many employers who had, until that point, opposed working from home. Many felt that homeworking as standard practice was a bad idea, which was damaging to teams and that people may take advantage of the situation. In my experience of working with people who have MS to help them obtain reasonable adjustments, this has been a consistent barrier, with many employers reluctant to take the step.

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