Health and Wellness

4 Tips on How To Get Back To Work After Long- Term Illness

ERE Media

Serious, long-term illness can strike anyone at any time. Even if you keep yourself fit and healthy, there is still a possibility that a condition or injury will get occur. And, when things are bad enough that you need to take off time at work, it can leave you in a tricky position.

Getting back to work is a priority, of course, but there will still be big issues to face when you return. Will you be able to manage full-time hours? Has your confidence taken a hit? And is there a possibility of a relapse? We’re going to cover all these – and a lot more – in our guide to getting back to work after a long-term illness.


1. Keep in touch

Try and remain in touch with your employer as much as possible when you are off sick. There’s no need to check in daily, of course, but they will appreciate it if you keep them updated with your current condition. Not only that, but it will mean you are less anxious about making a return. Honesty is always the best policy, so be truthful and open about your absence and recovery.

2.Be honest with yourself

You also have to be realistic about your abilities to perform before returning to work. Many people feel under pressure to go back too soon, but then relapse when they realise they can’t manage it. It can help if your employer has an occupational health scheme. If not, why not suggest they arrange something for you? Something like occupational health assessments by Health Assured can give your employer confidence. And, it will help you make wiser decisions about your condition, so you don’t take too much on, too soon.

3.Phased returns

Phased returns are always a good idea when you have been off sick for a long time. The simple truth is that it will take you a considerable amount of time to get back up to speed. Talk to your employer about working fewer hours at first, and also consider taking on lighter duties. Doing this should make your first couple of months back in the workplace a lot less stressful. Make no mistake about it, after being ill, the shock of a 40-hour week can be considerable. And it could result in your health worsening again.

4.Don’t worry

Finally, don’t worry about returning to work – it’s more stress than it is worth. While some colleagues may be a little miffed at your long-term absence, it’s nothing to do with them. If you are sick or injured, what else can you do until you make a full recovery? Your employer should keep the details of your illness confidential if you ask them, so there is no need to go into too many details. And you will find that most colleagues are fully supportive, so stick with them and build up your support network. If you do feel like you are being marginalised, burning it up with your line manager or employer. There is no shame in illness or injury, and you have the right to return, regardless of other people’s opinions.


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