Most employees feel different types of pain after a work-related injury. They feel the physical pain from the incident itself, the emotional pain of leaving work and the financial pain of medical treatments and reduced incomes.

It makes sense that many employees try to return to work as soon as possible to ensure they protect their position and return to financial security. However, you need to take time and answer a few questions before hopping into your morning commute, back to work.

How soon should I return to work after an injury?

The answer varies from person to person due to the recovery process and the type of injuries. For example, if an employee cuts themselves, they may need a day or two to seek medical attention and return to work. But if a worker falls and hurts their knee, they could be out for weeks or months depending on the severity of the knee injury. It’s critical to no rush to work and follow medical advice when it comes to conducting physical labor.

Does my employer need to be involved in my return?

The short answer is yes because many companies have specific guidelines about staff members returning to the job after an accident. For example, they may ask workers to perform a fit-for-duty assessment to ensure they are fit for the physical capabilities of the job.

It’s very likely you will remain in contact with your employer throughout the treatment process, and your employers may develop a transition plan to help you return to a safer, happier workplace.

What can I do to make sure my return is safe?

There are a few precautions that employees can take to ensure a safe return to the office. First, they need to fulfill their treatments and listen to their doctor’s advice. Please, do not rush the return if it goes against your medical professional’s advice.

Secondly, be more cautious while on the job. Pay attention to your lifting techniques, using your equipment and your interactions with co-workers. All these factors could lead to another injury if you do not pay close attention.

Finally, do not discount any psychological stress from the injury. If you notice specific triggers or stressors on the work floor, ask for new responsibilities until you feel more comfortable in the work environment again.

It’s important to remember that you are your best resource. You know your pain levels and mindset better than anyone else could, so do not come into the office if you aren’t physically ready. Also, keep an open line of communication to your doctor to ensure you get back on your feet (in the right time).