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How to ease back into work after an injury

Supplier: Ergomotion
21 August, 2014

A lot of injured workers want nothing more than to get back into the swing of things. It can be frustrating when you're at home and perfectly capable of working, but unable to due to a physical injury.

The most common work-related injuries are musculoskeletal (back, shoulder, neck, wrist etc.), but accidents that cause vision and hearing impairment are not unusual also.
Injuries are commonly caused by random incidents, but some of the more prevalent work-related injuries are derived from overexertion, slipping / tripping, repetitive motion, falling objects, vehicle accidents and machine entanglement – just to name a few.
Returning to work following an accident or injury can be a daunting experience. Your confidence might be down and you might even be worrying about whether or not you can still do your job. During the time you've been away, changes may have happened at work. Your colleagues may have changed roles or left the company, and there may be new faces on the team.
Below we have collated five reasons on why you should think about easing yourself back to work and how to go about it.
Kick-starting your emotional recovery
The influence of a physical injury can sometimes be far more widespread than might appear to the outside world. Just to scratch the surface, physical injuries are commonly known to lead to depression, feelings of anxiety, inability to cope with change and diminished interpersonal skills.
Making the physical move back to work can help to advance the emotional recovery as well. Hopefully, you will have a supportive employer who makes the move back to the workplace a stress-free exercise. This might include a meeting to discuss how you feel about coming back, if / how your role might have changed, and how you can both go about managing that change.
Making the first step is often the hardest, but a supportive team, encouraging employer and regular routine is often all that you need to pave the road to recovery.
Technologies can support you
The technology available to workers who have suffered a work-place injury is extensive. For example, a standing desk can play a significant role in a work place committed to supporting their workers. Sitting down for long periods at a time has significant long term impacts on posture, sore back, neck pain and stiff shoulders.
Sitting at a desk, driving and a host of other modern-day habits, have all led to a weakening in our skeletal systems. Numerous studies demonstrate the benefits of a standing desk. A standing desk is proven to strengthen the back, while sitting in a sedentary position for periods of time will not promote a speedy recovery. These ergonomic desks can be height adjusted in seconds from sit to stand using an ultra-quiet energy efficient motor.
Eases financial strain
Following a traumatic accident, it's perfectly normal for finances to no longer be a top priority. However, the reality is that your financial situation is likely to be affected following an absence from work. It's a realistic concern for many families, especially when so many rely on two incomes to support everyday finances. Going back to work, even if it is part-time, can help contribute to the financial stability of your family, and offer some relief to household expenses and bills.
Eases family pressures
If you're lucky enough to have a supportive family to assist with the recovery process, there's no doubt that you are in a fortunate position. While caring family and friends can play an pivotal role in a speedy recovery, the chances are that your accident had an emotional impact on them too. The recovery process is one that you're all going through together. Returning to work can help provide closure in response to any feelings of frustration at home.
Know what the law says about discrimination
The laws surrounding discrimination against injured employees do vary from state to state, and country to country, but generally speaking in the Western world it is illegal to discriminate against an injured employee.
It is important to get to grips with your local legislation, so as to understand your entitlements and what your employer should be doing to help with the process of returning to work. For example, in Victoria, it is against the law to discriminate against an employee because of an injury or illness, including a work-related injury.
We want to help with the process of returning to work, and make the transition a smoother one. Get in touch to find out how.