Employers no longer have the option of ignoring or avoiding the mental health issues of their employees. Today, wise employers are integrating mental health awareness, education and treatment into their company policies to protect the good of the organization and employee health.
Employees with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may attempt to shape this diagnosis into an asset, but the condition will invariably affect their work and personal life over time. By identifying the symptoms of OCD and knowing an employer’s rights and responsibilities, companies can make decisions that benefit all involved.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition marked by distressing and obsessive thoughts and repetitive and compulsive behaviors. A person with OCD will spend so much time involved with the obsessions and compulsions of their disorder that they will be unable to complete their responsibilities at work or home.
According to the DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA):
In the workplace, people with OCD may be so detail-oriented or distracted by their symptoms that they find it impossible to complete anything with high quality or in a timely way. With 1 in 40 adults having the condition, OCD will affect many workplaces.
Employers may believe they never need to know the laws and regulations governing mental health disabilities, but they do. The risks of being unaware are simply too great to the individual and the company. To reduce risks, employers should remain up-to-date with all legal issues and expectations.
Becoming familiar with employment laws involving disability and discrimination is key. Some of the most relevant laws include:
These laws help support and protect people with medical and mental health disabilities. This way, people with OCD can receive the patience and services needed to maintain their employment and status as contributing members of society.
Individuals and businesses have shifted tremendously during the coronavirus pandemic, and the move to remote work is not always comfortable or helpful for people with OCD. As an employer, it may be easy to only focus on performance without truly assisting remote workers.
To fully support people with OCD working remote, employers can:
Supporting a remote employee, especially one with OCD, must be an individualized experience. What works for one will not work for all.
The choice to disclose a mental health condition to the company is the employee’s decision, but should that disclosure happen, it is the employer’s duty to make reasonable accommodations. For the best adaptations, decide to work together and experiment with solutions before making any permanent. Focus on flexibility and fluidity.
Some possible ways to support employees with OCD in the office include:
Even though these modifications may seem like special privileges, they are only what the employee needs to complete their job effectively. Nothing about a ramp would seem excessive for a person in a wheelchair, so be sure to fully invest in the employee’s needs.
The experts at Orlando Recovery Center know that workers with mental health disabilities are affecting your workplace, and we want to help. We can offer more information about OCD and specialized assistance for employers hoping to build a more inclusive atmosphere.
If you or an employee is struggling with OCD in addition to a substance use disorder, comprehensive treatment options are available at the Orlando Recovery Center. No one needs to suffer from addiction and OCD one day longer. Contact us today to discuss options that can work well for your needs.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.