Returning to work after an injury is an intense experience for most employees. You do not want to wait too long, but you can’t return too early. You need to find the exact time for your health and finances. Luckily, there are three questions you can ask before you decide when to return to work.
How long should I wait?
The answer will be different depending on the industry, injury and the person’s recovery. Still, most experts agree that most people rush recovery to return to their job as quickly as possible. They have multiple reasons, including returning to normalcy, receiving a typical paycheck and even getting back on track for their careers.
It’s essential to return to work on your terms. Do not force yourself to work when you are still recovering because of financial or employer pressure. Wait as long as you need to in order to feel comfortable.
Do I need to notify my employer?
When you intend to return to work, you need to notify your employer as soon as possible. In Minnesota, most employers ask for notification no less than two weeks before their return date. Along with the notification, you may need to perform additional testing or questionnaires through your company to determine your level of “fitness for duty.”
Essentially, the testing allows the company to evaluate your performance before returning to your normal position. It’s an excellent way for you and your employer to look at your recovery and assess the next steps for the process. If you can’t perform your typical duties, they may even work to provide new tasks for a temporary basis.
How do I (as an employee) ensure a safe return to work?
As an employee, you need to make sure you are returning at a time that is safe for your health. Work with a doctor or medical professional to ensure that you will not provoke or worsen your injury by returning to the office.
Also, make sure that when you come back to work, you are performing proper protocol and techniques to prevent further injuries. If you need a refresher on specific equipment or procedures, ask your supervisor or a colleague to show you the ropes. It only helps your health in the long run.
Remember, the key to a safe return is to return at the right time. To do that, work with your employer, your medical professional and your support system.