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Returning to work, after spending time away from the workplace for any reason, can be difficult. Getting back into your working routine can be both tiring and stressful.
Depending on how long you have been away from the workplace, rules and regulations may have changed in your particular industry, so you could feel like you are learning everything from scratch again. This can feel daunting.
However, there are some things that you can do to help make the transition of returning to work as stress-free as possible.
takes a look at some tips and tricks that will hopefully get you back into the swing of things.
Research your industry
When you have been out of work for a while, you may feel out of touch with what is happening in your industry.
A quick ‘Google’ search of news stories should reveal the majority of developments that have happened in your industry as a whole.
Having this knowledge before you step back into the workplace could help you to feel more prepared.
If you are interviewing for a job in an industry you haven’t worked in for a long period of time, this is also a helpful place to start.
You could also try searching for your particular employer to see if there have been any developments while you have been away.
Your employer may have a legal duty to make “reasonable adjustments”
If you are returning to work after a period of sick leave, your employer may be duty-bound to make reasonable adjustments at work.
For example, you could ask your employer for more flexible hours or even a place to go if you need a break.
Do not be afraid to ask if you need help. If you are worried about returning to work after sick leave, it can be helpful to talk to your GP.
Talk to your boss
Whether it is your old boss or someone new, it can be helpful to talk through your worries about returning to work. Your boss may be able to offer you help or advice that could put your mind at rest.
If you do not feel comfortable talking to your manager, you could talk to a friend or family member about your concerns.
Often, the majority of the anxiety we feel about returning to work is just first-day nerves. Think about things you can do to relax, such as taking a bath the night before to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you have not been in work for a long time, it is possible that some things may have changed.
If you do not understand how something works or why a process is done in a particular way, do not be afraid to ask. Usually, your colleagues will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you in order to help you settle back in.
Keeping quiet because you don’t want to voice what you perceive to be a silly question, will only result in more stress in the long run.
Volunteer before returning to work
Heading straight back to work full time can be tough.
If possible, you could consider volunteering part time for a local charity to get you back into the rhythm of working. This could also help you to build your self-esteem, in preparation for returning to work full time.
If you have not yet found a job, volunteering somewhere could open up the possibility of being offered paid work.
Consider taking up a new hobby
OK, so you probably do not want to start something new on your first day back at work, but taking up a new hobby that you enjoy can give you something to look forward to at the end of the working day or week.
Many businesses encourage their staff to set up or take part in clubs, such as book clubs or knitting groups. See if there is already a group in your work doing something you would enjoy. Otherwise, you could ask about setting one up yourself.
Not only can this result in you doing something fun, but it can also help you to build relationships with your colleagues, which may prove to be invaluable both now and in the future.
Returning to work after a period of time away can be tough.
By asking for help when you need it and aiming to achieve a good work-life balance, you could find yourself back in the working routine in no time at all.