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Returning to work after illness


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Returning to work after illness can often prove difficult. Not only do you have to get back into your usual routine, you may feel demotivated, less confident in your role and maybe even like you’ve let your workmates or employers down. However, if you’re proactive and take some steps to ease the transition back into the workplace, you may well find there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

Keep in touch

Depending on the culture in your place of work, keeping in touch during your absence may feel a little daunting. Don’t let that stop you though.  Keeping your employer or HR department up to speed on your progress lets them know you still value your job and that you are intending to return. Firing off the odd telephone call or email to colleagues also means you get to hear what is going on and won’t miss out on so much. This will make your return to work much easier as you won’t feel like you’re out of the loop.

Listen to your body

While returning to work can be beneficial in terms of removing financial stress or getting you back into normal life, it might be that you need to take some time out to let your body recover. Don’t feel pressured into returning too early and make sure you feel ready within yourself before you think about going back.

Talk to your GP

If you feel ready to return to work it’s worthwhile checking with your GP (or any specialist you’ve been seeing) that they agree. Be honest about how you are feeling and take time to consider any advice they have to offer. You don’t have to be 100% to return to work but going back too soon may result in you needing to take even more time off. Make sure you’re ready to return before you set your heart on going back on a specific date.

Return to work meeting

returning to work after illnessWhen you go back to your job your employers should offer you the chance to discuss your absence and your return to work. This is particularly important if you’ve been off due to work-related stress or an injury that may affect your ability to do your job well. While any issues you’ve been experiencing might not be easy to talk about with your manager, it’s important that you’re up front and open about things.  If you hold back information then there isn’t much your manager can do to help.

Ask for a staged return

If you have a high pressure or physical job then you might want to ease yourself back in gently. Trying to do too much too soon can knock you back so where possible it’s often a good idea to phase your return gradually. Many employers will be willing to let you go back on a part time basis to begin with, increasing your hours week by week until you’re back to your usual working pattern.

Even if you’re a bit nervous about returning to work, in most cases if yo give it a few days it will feel like you’ve never been away.



About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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