"online consolations with headache specialists"
Fujitsu has been hailed as the world's leading company by the International Headache Society's World Patient Support Association. So yeah, it turns out there's actually an International Headache Society. But that's not even the big news. An announcement on Fujitsu Japan’s web site explains that the company surveyed staff and …
Sure. Because you have all the required variables to determine the cost of a headache.
Although I am apparently immune to that scourge, I can see the effect a headache has on my wife, and I have a friend who is subject to migranes. Everyone knows that a powerful migrane means locking oneself up in a dark, silent room and suffering until it goes away.
That's not fun in any book.
But assigning a cost to a headache ? Come on, did you just tally the number of days taken sick and call it a day ?
What about people who have headaches but keep on working and don't say anything about it ? Some headaches are minor inconveniences, and I'm sure that, in a culture like the Japanese have, they won't let a minor inconvenience get in the way of doing their job. So, no cost there then ? They are still inconvenienced, they might work more slowly, or have to check twice. That's time lost, ergo cost, but you have no way of counting that.
$22.5 million a year is a large number, but I have a tendancy to file it with declarations of the "this virus cost that many billions to the industry" sort.
In the round filing cabinet.
This is a subject close to my heart, as I suffer from both migraines (fortunately mild) and Cluster Headaches (not so mild).
Recent New Scientist article on the subject worth reading: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25333713-100-we-are-finally-beginning-to-understand-migraines-and-how-to-treat-them/ (paywall) or just find Issue 3371. Some takeaways from that:
- Migraines are the third most prevalent disorder and third-highest cause of disability
- Annual lost production from it in the US estimated at ~$19Bn
- It's hard to be diagnosed properly, and there's widespread ignorance in the medical profession, so access to treatment can be a struggle (to which I can attest)
- despite the economic impacts of migraines, there's little funding for research. For example in the US, asthma funding is approx $154 per sufferer. For migraine, it's $0.36. OK, asthma can kill and migraines don't usually, but still...
So despite all the bad things I can say about Fujitsu, I have to congratulate them on this one. Well done.
See this is what's wrong with corporate culture! FFS! Companies chasing mindless accreditaitons for great PR all the time refusing to traing staff properly in actually doing their jobs. Oh, I stand corrected, "Here's a loging to Pluralsight, go nuts!" Every IT manager starts stating, "training budget spent and training quota fulfilled"!
All good staff know what's good and bad but giving out certs and accreditations in headache awareness, well it's enough to start a slight dull ache building up behind the eyeballs.
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We, pretty much worldwide as far as I can see, frown on staff taking time off for "minor" ailments. Headaches, colds and so forth. We expect workers to carry on, bravely.
But no one really tries to estimate the costs of not taking time off. Things like slower response times, reduced concentration, poor decision making, irritable behaviour upsetting other staff, poor communication/listening, slower recovery times, infecting other staff who may then go on to make their own poor decisions etc. or need time off for secondary infections.
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