If you’re an employer who is currently dealing with a worker’s compensation claim, you’re likely trying to figure out where to go from here. When do they come back? How do I fulfill the job requirements without filling the position? What can I do to help the injured employee? There are plenty of considerations that go into worker’s compensation on all ends. One consideration for employers might be that of light-duty return for injured employees.

Think about it. You are fulfilling a need for work to get done, as well as helping that employee get back into the workspace. Not to mention, you’re showing them that you haven’t forgotten about their usefulness. Being out of work can have a lot of rippling effects for everyone, and this is one way to combat that.

The benefits of light-duty return for injured workers

The benefits range for each party involved. In short, the benefits for the employer are great, and the benefits are also great for the employee. But, they are most definitely not the same.

Benefits for the employer:

You’re fulfilling a need! Chances are, there are plenty of things that need to get done which are often overlooked. From answering telephones, doing inventory, labeling packages, training new employees… there might be small jobs all over the office that get put off all the time. By giving the employee the option to return on light-duty and fulfill these needs, you are doing them a great service as well as yourself. Light-duty return is effective, helpful, and it fulfills a need for both parties.

Benefits for the employee:

Let’s face it: being out of work can be extremely tough for most. You’re facing injury, isolation, boredom, and you’re not making as much money as you were before. For a lot of people, this can lead to depression, PTSD, or any number of additional issues to your injury. Coming back to work in some capacity has plenty of advantages. You’re engaging with the work environment, you have involvement with co-workers again, and you’re getting up and moving. If returning to work on light-duty is conducive to the doctors orders, it might also help you heal a little quicker because you’re getting it going a little bit. Ultimately, your mental health and recovery is of upmost concern after injury. Therefore, taking this route might be just the kick you need to remind you of what you have to go back to, and how useful you are.

Ultimately, it takes two interested parties to make this work

You have to be a quality employer with an interest in your employee’s well-being and mental health to go this route. Many employers don’t take the time to think of creative solutions for their injured employers. For too many, it’s out of sight out of mind when it comes to work. But, if you can take the time to engage with those employees, and offer them this opportunity— you might find that it’s mutually beneficial.