If illness or injury forces you to take time off from work, it can have a big impact on your life. The time it takes to recover full health can change the way you feel about yourself. You can lose confidence, and feel differently about your job and your future.

Getting actively involved in your rehabilitation, or in the management of your illness, can make a big difference to the speed and success of your recovery. As soon as your recovery is underway, you can, and should, start thinking about making a return to work. This video offers some ideas to help you return to work after illness or injury.

Acknowledgements

Video 2018 © Copyright Healthily Pty Ltd
If illness or injury forces you to take time off from work, it can have a big impact on your life.

The time it takes to recover full health can change the way you feel about yourself.

You can lose confidence and feel differently about your job and your future.

Getting actively involved in your rehabilitation, or in the management of your illness, can make a big difference to the speed and success of your recovery.

As soon as your recovery is underway, you can, and should, start thinking about making a return to work. Because, surprising as it may seem, easing back into work will not only help your recovery, it will also improve your sense of wellbeing and general health.

Here are some tips for making a better and speedier return to work.

1. Get effective early treatment. What you do straight after you are injured or fall ill can have an effect on the way you recover, so make sure you get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

2. Involve your doctor. Your doctor knows you and your health better than anyone, so involve them in your return-to-work journey right from the start.

3. Do your rehab. If you have been injured, a health professional may give you an exercise or movement program to help you heal and to recover strength and mobility.
Be strict with yourself -rehabilitation will help you to recover if you do the exercises as advised.

4. Consider what you can do, not what you can't do. Staying positive during your recovery will make a big difference to your rehabilitation and general wellbeing. Your injury might affect your ability to do your usual work, but it is helpful to think about what you can do, no matter how limited.

5. Speak to the return-to-work coordinator at your workplace. They can help you find suitable alternative duties or modifications to your existing role or workplace to help you get back to work sooner.

6. Make a plan. Work with your doctor and return to work coordinator to identify key milestones on your journey towards a return to work date.

Start with a realistic date and work towards it.

You can always adjust the date and expectations later, if necessary.

The important thing is to have an objective and a plan to achieve it.

7. Don't wait until you are fully fit and recovered before you return to work. Getting back into activity, even if it is limited, will help you to a faster recovery.

8. Maintain your connection to work. 
Stay in touch with your workmates and colleagues so that you know what is happening in your industry and your workplace, professionally and socially.

9. Communication is the key! Speaking regularly with your doctor, our rehabilitation team, your return to work coordinator, your manager or supervisor and your family can help you get back to work.

It's a team effort, and good communication between those helping you to return to work will help you to overcome any challenges along the way.

10. Remember! The most important person in your recovery is you.

The best thing you can do is to get involved in your own recovery.

Ask your health practitioner about what you can do to help yourself get better. You don't want to do anything that has a negative effect on your recovery, but there is plenty of evidence that getting back to work sooner will mean less pain and a quicker recovery.

If your doctor has given you the all-clear for a partial return to work, take advantage of it! It's one of the most important things that you can do to on your road to recovery.

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Healthily

Last updated: June 2018

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