Developed with IHS-GPAC, Fujitsu implemented the first-ever large-scale, company-wide workplace headache education and evaluation program to raise awareness and increase understanding of migraine, decrease stigma and improve diagnosis and management. The program yielded a more than 30-fold return on investment (ROI).
Migraine is the second leading cause of disability in the world. Most migraine-related productivity loss in the workplace (89%) is due to presenteeism—being present at work but not being able to be as productive as usual due to migraine symptoms. Hence, most migraine-related productivity loss tends to go unnoticed by employers. There is also a lot of stigma around migraine. People with migraine want to work. When people with migraine were asked as part of a Migraine Association of Ireland survey to indicate one thing they would like to be changed in their workplace regarding migraine, the most common answers were for migraine to be better understood and for the workplace environment to be more supportive. Hence the importance of a company-wide migraine education program aimed at all the employees and supervisors to educate everyone on migraine.
Fujitsu Limited, a Tokyo-based information and communication technology company, has partnered with IHS-GPAC since 2019 to implement a comprehensive migraine workplace awareness, education and support program throughout their organization. The product of this effort—their highly successful web-based learning program, “FUJITSU Headache Project”—was recognized by IHS-GPAC in 2022 as one of the best migraine education programs of its kind. Participation in the web-based education program was high: 73,000 Fujitsu employees participated, representing roughly 91% of their Japan-based workforce.
Before starting the program, less than half (46.8%) of Fujitsu’s employees believed headache had a significant impact on people’s lives. Most (72.5%) of the participants said their understanding of headache changed after being exposed to the new information included in the program. Of those without headache, 82.9% said they would change their attitude toward colleagues with headache disorders. Each of these shifts in employee thinking culminated in a significant boost in productivity, resulting in approximately 15.2 days of full productivity per employee with headache disorder annually, combining a reduction of 1.17 days for absences and a gain of 14.0 days for presenteeism. These changes yielded an extraordinary total ROI of 3,204%.
These collaborative efforts between IHS-GPAC and Fujitsu demonstrate a model that can be utilized by companies around the world to reduce the burden of migraine in the workplace while also having a substantial financial benefit to their bottom line.
The Future of Migraine Workplace Education
The “FUJITSU Headache Project” shows how impactful workplace migraine education programs can be in reversing financial loss and improving employee productivity. Fujitsu’s and IHS-GPAC’s efforts demonstrate that comprehensive education for all employees is instrumental in breaking the stigma and reducing migraine-related productivity loss.
“Fujitsu’s incredible work alongside IHS-GPAC continues to give us crucial insights into how migraine’s financial and personal effects can be addressed in the workplace,” says Dr. David Dodick, IHS-GPAC Chair. “These exciting results prove that investing in migraine education is not only worth the time but the financial cost, too.”
There is no cure for migraine, but as Fujitsu has proven, there are many ways to significantly mitigate its impact. IHS-GPAC is proud to continue working with organizations across the globe to empower employees, reduce stigma in the workplace and provide support for those living with migraine and other headache disorders.
Designed by migraine experts and patient advocates, IHS-GPAC’s Migraine Fitness at Work™ program is a customizable video-based education program to educate the entire employee population on migraine (including the c-suite) in order to raise awareness, decrease stigma and improve diagnosis and management.
IHS-GPAC works in collaboration with patients, patient advocacy organizations, healthcare providers and headache, pain and neurology associations worldwide to improve the lives of those affected by migraine, cluster headache and other diseases that cause severe head pain. The Migraine Fitness at Work™ initiative aims to make workplaces more understanding and supportive for people with migraine. This customizable video-based education program was designed by world-renowned migraine experts and patient advocates to offer employers the tools and resources they need to educate employees and transform the workplace.