Working or finding a job with Crohn’s Disease

22 May 2024

Working or finding a job with Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the digestive tract – is invisible and unpredictable, which can make it especially difficult to deal with at work, but with a little bit of flexibility and communication, it is possible to thrive in employment and meet your career goals when you are living with Crohn’s disease. 

 The challenges of working with Crohn’s disease


Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for people living with Crohn’s disease is the unpredictability of the disease. Symptoms can begin without warning – even after long periods of remission – and you can never tell how severe a flare up will be or how long it will last. It may last a couple of days or may go on for months… you just never know, and that makes Crohn’s disease particularly difficult to manage.  


Fatigue is a common symptom for people living with Crohn’s disease. Fatigue can make it difficult to maintain focus throughout the workday and may significantly impact your ability to fulfil your responsibilities effectively.  

Frequent Medical Appointments

Managing Crohn’s disease often requires regular medical appointments, which can disrupt your daily routine and impact work schedules. Flexibility in your schedule may be required to accommodate your medical needs.  

Crohn’s Disease accommodations and considerations: How to Make Work Easier with Crohn’s Disease

Work from home

Working from home will allow you to feel more comfortable and allow you to be more in control of your environment. You’ll have access to your own bathroom and have more privacy. Working from home also means you’ll never get caught out during the commute, and without travel time to and from the office you’ll have more time for self-care and rest.  

Flexibility in your schedule

Finding a job with a flexible working schedule will allow you to take breaks more easily when needed and allow you to work at your own pace, which will help you manage stress more easily. 

Low stress

Factors like excessive workloads or tight deadlines can exacerbate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease so a high-pressure, fast paced workplace may not be a good fit for you. Finding a position that allows a little more breathing room in the day-to-day may be a good idea.  

Close to facilities

If you prefer to work in an office environment you can request a workstation close to the bathroom facilities. You may also be able to negotiate additional breaks for taking medication or resting. Communicating with your manager about your needs is vital.  

How CoAct can support people living with IBD into employment

The CoAct team understands the challenges facing people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Crohn’s disease. Through Disability Employment Services (DES), we can help you navigate your job search effectively and help ensure that you are placed in a role that suits your unique needs.  

We will work together with you to identify your career goals, help identify suitable roles in your area, and help you create a professional resume and cover letter so that you can put your best foot forward.  

Once employed, if required, we can help you navigate your new workplace including liaising with your new employer to ensure that appropriate accommodations are put in place for you.  

Already employed?

 If you are currently employed but feel your health is impacting your ability to do your job effectively our team can help you with personalised strategies to help you stay in work through the Work Assist program. We can provide job coaching or work directly with your employer to get workplace accommodations put in place to support you.  

 If you would like help finding a new job or need support to make your current job work for you, contact the team at CoAct today 

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