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How to create a period conscious environment in different kinds of workplaces

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How to create a period conscious environment in different kinds of workplaces

When it comes to becoming a period conscious workplace, there’s no one size fits all. Different businesses operate differently. What works for a law firm may not be right for a construction company or remote work set ups. 

Fostering a period conscious work environment is a crucial step towards promoting inclusivity, understanding and support for your entire team. By acknowledging and addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by people during their menstrual cycle (and beyond), you as employers can create a more inclusive and comfortable working environment that benefits everyone. 

This is why we’ve created this handy guide with tips on how to create a period conscious environment in different kinds of workplaces.


Period conscious environment in corporate offices

Many businesses have made the move back into the office or at least part time. So, ensuring your office is set up to support employees through their periods is an essential step to promoting inclusivity in your workplace.

Offer free period care

Ensuring your team has access to safe and healthy products in bathrooms is essential to fostering a period conscious workplace. From shelf-ready boxes and containers to refillable dispensers, you can offer a variety of pads, tampons & liners in a range of absorbencies to suit individual preferences.

Implement flexible work policies

Consider implementing flexible working hours or remote work options to accommodate employees who may experience discomfort or pain during their menstrual cycle. These policies can help reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.

Provide the right workplace equipment

For employees with physical menstrual health symptoms, the right workplace equipment can make the world of difference. Examples of this may include:

  • Chairs with ample back support. 
  • Heat packs and hot water bottles.
  • Adjustable temperature settings.

Provide wellness sessions

Offer a series of wellness sessions that focus on physical and mental health. These can include activities like yoga, meditation and stress management techniques, which can all be beneficial during menstruation. 

Encourage open conversation

It may feel awkward at first but having and encouraging open conversation around menstrual health is essential when it comes to creating a period conscious workplace.


Period conscious environment in retail spaces

Creating a period conscious workplace looks a little different in a retail environment. Workplace location and hours are more rigid, so it’s all about ensuring your space is designed to support employees whilst they’re at work.


Accessibility to period care

In retail environments bathrooms are often small and shared, so there’s often the temptation to hide period care away. Try your best to have period care accessible and visible, by displaying these essentials openly you can help reduce stigma and help employees feel more comfortable.


Offer comfortable break areas

Working in retail means a lot of time on your feet. You could look into offering additional breaks and creating a comfortable break area where your team can relax and recharge, particularly for those who are required to undertake physical activity or stand for long periods of time. Provide comfortable seating, heating pads and beverages, including options that may help alleviate menstrual symptoms like green tea.


Supportive management

Train your managers to be understanding and supportive when it comes to requests for accommodations related to menstruation. By encouraging open communication your employees will feel much more at ease discussing their needs. 


Consider uniform choices

A big concern for a lot of employees in a retail environment is heavy bleeding and leaking through clothes, particularly if wearing light colours. If your organisation requires employees to wear a uniform, it’s important to take into account how comfortable and easily washable it is and avoid choosing only light colours.


Period conscious environment for remote work

Offering remote working means location doesn’t stop you from securing top talent, however ensuring you’re supporting your employees menstrual health can be tricky if you never see them face to face. This is all about what you can offer from the comfort of their own homes.


Provide flexible working arrangements

You’re already offering flexible work locations, by adding the option for employees to set their own schedule you can allow individuals to create a work environment that best suits their need during their menstrual cycle and beyond. 


Invest in virtual wellness resources

Provide your team with access to virtual wellness resources such like Headspace or online yoga or meditation classes, stress management tools and information webinars on wellness or menstrual health.


Open your communication channels

Communication is key when it comes to working remotely. Foster an open and inclusive virtual communication platform where employees can feel comfortable discussing their needs related to menstruation. You should also encourage managers to be understanding and accommodating of individuals needs. 


Provide vouchers for free period care

No office? No problem. We also offer vouchers for your remote employees. This gives them the opportunities to pick and choose the period care that suits them and have it delivered directly to their door.  


Period conscious environment on construction sites

Despite some progress in recent years, the construction industry is male dominated (in 2022 just 15% of people in the industry identified as women) and periods are still largely regarded as a ‘taboo’ subject. A major obstacle we need to tackle when it comes to working in construction on your period is accessing safe & healthy facilities and products.


Period care dispensers

Construction sites often have to battle the elements, so providing free period products to your team in a safe & protective dispenser can ensure they always have access.


Accessible bathrooms & handwashing facilities

All too often basic needs such as accessible bathrooms, waste bins or handwashing facilities have not been provided. According to the UK Government Equality Hub, it was discovered that some people were unable to access bathrooms without asking for a key and when they eventually managed to get to the facilities they were being used as storage.

Ensure facilities are accessible, unlocked and ready for use. Companies need to ensure that a suitable hand washing station with running water and soap  is available for people to use. 


Disposal bins

Provide suitable disposal bins for period products that are regularly emptied and sanitised. No one should have to carry around used pads or tampons in pockets or toolboxes until they can find a suitable bin. 


Schedule flexibility

When possible, consider offering flexible work schedules or breaks to accommodate employees experiencing discomfort or pain due to menstruations.

Remember: a period conscious workplace benefits not only employees but also contributes to a more positive and productive work environment for everyone. If you're ready to become a period conscious workplace, check out our Periods for Business hub.

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