There are many reasons why you might end up on an extended break during your working life. You may have had family commitments, experienced physical or mental injuries, or have been impacted in some other way.
Returning to work after a long break can be a shock to the system, but through some preparation and by being open and honest with your employer, you can navigate these challenges
Returning to work after maternity leave or paternity leave
Returning to work after maternity leave can be a jarring experience for new mothers. There are many considerations when it comes to the care of your newborn and how to balance that with work. Having open discussions with your employer is a good start. Together you will need to work out how to satisfy business needs and the needs of your family.
Many new mothers or primary carers returning to work find that part-time or reduced hours or different responsibilities can help while transitioning back to work.
For new fathers, while the break from work is sometimes not as long, changes will also need to be made to accommodate the needs of a growing family. Flexible start and finish times or blended work from home options could work well depending on your situation.
You need to also think about how things will work at home. Working out who can help you with care and when is vital. It may be worthwhile sitting down with your partner and creating a schedule that makes clear where responsibilities are shared and how it will fit in with your work plans.
Returning to work after an injury or illness
After a serious injury or illness, it can be tough to get back to work. In fact, research has shown the longer you are off work the higher the chance of never returning to the workplace.
Again, communication is key. Not just with your boss but those in charge of your healthcare as well. Be positivite and focus on what you can, not what you can’t do and devise a clear plan on how to return to work with the help of your employer.
If you have questions about this process, it is always best to seek advice. You can find contacts for your local state and territory bodies through Safe Work Australiawho can provide guidance.
Returning to work after COVID-19
With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines into Australia, many of us hope for a return to normal sooner rather than later. However, the future is still uncertain and a lot of industries have changed how they operate. The main concern with returning to work if you are in this situation is being prepared for the new laws regarding how your business conducts itself.
You may have to do things a different way, or there may be additional administrative tasks you need to perform to ensure your workplace is compliant with the government’s Covid-19 health laws. This may require some extra training or at least a change of habits. Best to make sure what the expectations and legal requirements are with your boss before you start work again.
Returning to work after a sabbatical
You may have left to study or travel or take care of your family. Whatever the reason, sabbaticals can be periods that shift perspectives on what’s important in life. It’s vital to ask yourself before you begin the process of returning to work if you want to return.
It is important to be aware of what may have changed in your absence as well. New colleagues, changes in work practices, or different responsibilities could all make your old job seem like a new one! An open dialogue with your boss or supervisor to understand their expectations is crucial to a seamless return to work.