If you could say that there’s ever a benefit to suffering an injury, it’s that you get to take some guilt-free time off work… right? It sounds nice enough, but let’s face it: the reason most of us do our jobs is for the paycheck. And our need for money hardly goes away when we’re injured! In fact, there are plenty of occasions where an injury actually means we’re in an even deeper need for money.
Of course, there are plenty of jobs out there that will pay you for a lot of that time off. But even those lucky enough to work for places such as this will probably end up going a bit crazy because they’ve found themselves housebound by their injury. No matter how “nice” it might be to get some time off work, we have to return to it eventually.
But how do we know when we should be heading back to work? Strange as it may sound at first, it’s possible that you’re a little too eager to get back to work. It could be that you’re still in need of recovery. Of course, if you feel like the time has come, then you may be able to get back to work sooner than you think. It’s important that you consider all of the implications and options.
#1: Considering your recovery
The most important thing here is that you don’t do anything to lengthen the recovery process. Heck, going back to work too soon may even see you making your injury worse!
While you may think it depends entirely on what you do for a living (and it does depend on this to an extent), the fact is that it’s not just the immediately physical concerns you need to think about. You’ve also got to consider the mental aspects of this. Work can induce stress and may do so to a greater extent if you’re still in pain. And stress can have a much bigger effect on your recovery than you may think.
#2: The legal implications
Much of the time, it’s not just your body that you need to think about. You may also have to consider things from a legal and financial perspective. If the injury wasn’t your fault and you’re in the process of taking legal action, then whether or not to return to work may be a trickier question that you thought.
The good news is that returning to work doesn’t always affect your ability to make a legal claim. Some courts may even look unkindly upon someone they perceive to have taken “too much time” off from work. This being said, it often complicates matters. Of course, every case is unique, so it’s best that you talk to your personal injury attorney about it.
#3: Your options
There are some jobs out there where the process of returning is pretty clear-cut. If you’re a cleaner or a waiter, for example, then you certainly need to be at your place of business to do your job.
But if you work in an office, or do the bulk of your work on a computer, then you may be able to work from home. Whatever your profession, you should speak to your employer about ways in which you can continue to help the business from home, if you’re feeling able to do so.