Managing work if you have fatigue

You may find that you can’t continue working due to fatigue, or that you have to reduce the amount of time you spend at work.

It can help to talk to your employer or personnel/human resources (HR) department and let them know that you may need some time off.

Don’t feel that you have to work if you’re too tired. If you do want to carry on working, you may be able to find ways of making your work less tiring for a while.

Anyone with cancer is protected by the Equality Act 2010, which prevents employers from victimising or discriminating against people with a disability. The act also states that employers are expected to make reasonable adjustments to support employees in the workplace. You may want to make suggestions for adjustments that could help to support you. Things that your employer can do to help include:

  • changing your hours so that you can travel to and from work at less busy times (outside the rush hour)
  • asking colleagues to be supportive and to help with some of your work
  • finding you a parking place near to your place of work
  • letting you take short breaks to lie down and rest
  • allowing you to work from home (if this is possible)
  • finding you lighter work if your job involves physical exertion or heavy lifting.

If you’re self-employed, it can help to talk to the Department for Work and Pensions about benefits that you may be entitled to claim.

Our sections about work and cancer and self-employment and cancer have more detailed information and useful tips for coping with fatigue at work.

Back to Tiredness (fatigue)

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is feeling very tired most, or all, of the time. It can sometimes be caused by cancer or cancer treatment.

What causes fatigue?

There are many causes of fatigue. Knowing about them may help you to cope with your fatigue a bit better.

Tips for better rest

Tiredness can affect your sleeping patterns. There are ways to manage this so you get the most out of your rest.

Tips to help manage symptoms of fatigue

Making some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine may help manage symptoms of fatigue.

Tips to help you manage everyday activities if you have fatigue

Plan ahead if you have fatigue. Keeping a fatigue diary can help you organise your everyday activities.

Emotional support if you have fatigue

There is support available if you have fatigue. You might find it helps to talk to a counsellor or join a support group.

Talking to your doctor or nurse about fatigue

It’s important to talk to your doctor or nurse about how fatigue is affecting you and your life.

Looking after someone with fatigue

There are things you can do to help someone cope with fatigue. You may find it useful to keep a fatigue diary.