More Considerations When Returning to Work
Physical issues to consider in returning back to work
Returning back to work can be a stressful life event that can take its toll on a once disabled employee. Before actually starting your first week back to work, consider the physical issues associated with returning back to your job. Prepare for the changes in your daily hours and activities by getting support from loved ones. Be patient and understanding of your physical ailments and take your time getting back into the grind of working normal hours. It may be helpful to work out limited hours with your employer for the first week. Consider visiting the office on off-hours to prepare for your return. Examine walking paths, sitting arrangements, office equipment and lighting.
Mental and emotional issues to consider in returning back to work
Oftentimes, once disabled employees consider themselves to be “damaged goods" upon returning back to their normal routines. While this does dissipate in time, the first few weeks can be depressing as you try to re-acclimate to the vigor of work life. Remember, you are not obligated to discuss your condition or limitations with fellow employees at work. If you feel harassed by fellow co-workers, report them immediately to your supervisor. Under the ADA law, you have protection from discrimination in your workplace.
Overall, remember to be patient and take your time getting back into your work routine. Going back to work from disability is tough, but it can be accomplished with proper time and stress management. Also, enlist a good support system in family members and friends to help you through times of doubt, depression and frustration. Understand your new physical, mental and emotional limitations if any, and adhere to your doctor's job restrictions.