By Louise Pavan

Returning to workA calm and healthy lifestyle can help you flourish at work and is especially valuable when returning after being off long-term sick. Believe me I know. 

In 2012 complications following a virus left me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and led to nearly two years off work. Learning techniques to reduce stress and worry was when my recovery really sped up.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates around 260 thousand people have CFS / ME. Add to that, 1.8 million people that the Office for National Statistics estimates are living with long Covid and you begin to see the impact of fatigue and long-term illness on the workplace. 

Being well enough to come back to work after a long illness means just that. Even though the symptoms of illness may have subsided, it’s not always the case that you’re back to your old self. Full recovery can mean working through a set of issues which can be eased through a tailored package of benefits. This can make the difference between a successful return and taking more time off.


Help to relax

Anxiety about symptoms, how you’ll fit back in and lack of confidence are just a few of the  worries that can throw employees, and surprise even the most supportive manager. 

According to Harvard Business Review, stress and anxiety in the workforce is at a new high – no surprise when we’ve all been dealing with Covid and lockdowns. 

Specialist support through counselling, meditation and yoga classes (often found at local gyms) are effective for soothing the mind, increasing confidence in your body’s resilience, and are a way to get much-needed rest so the brain can focus better during the working day. 

Renowned TV Doctor Michael Mosely says just a little meditation each day can improve sleep, mood, boost your immune system and even rewire your response to stress and pain. 

Meditation and other calming practices can also divert us from developing unhealthy ways to deal with concerns, like drinking more. 

Physiotherapy focuses on the physical side of recuperation. The benefits are well documented and include helping to manage or get rid of pain, strengthening muscles and even avoiding surgery, reducing the risk of more time off.


Wellness and sleep

We all know the benefits of a good night’s rest and how hard it can be to get through the next day if you don’t sleep well. The worries that come with illness can keep you awake at a time when resting can be vital to getting better. 

Add on top the worry of not sleeping and it can be a spiral to insomnia. 

Expert tips and techniques help you gain control of your night-time thoughts, divert the mind and work alongside practices like yoga and meditation so you can begin to sleep peacefully and wake feeling refreshed. 

The well-being videos that form part of Enjoy Benefits’ wellness package feature a dedicated module on sleep. You can find out more here.


Dealing with money worries

The pandemic, together with recent rises in the cost of living, mean many of us have had to cut back on spending and really think about our finances. Taking months off work through illness can mean less money coming in. 

Household finances can be complex and budgeting is a skill, especially if, like me, you’re under confident with numbers. Burying your head in the sand is tempting but will only make things worse. 

The wellbeing package that Enjoy Benefits offers includes a special video on financial wellness. For me, renewed confidence came with taking control of my money with the help of services offered as part of my employer’s wellness programme. 

It meant I could focus on getting well and know when I could afford to spend on the kinds of  therapies and treatments that helped me to recover and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle. 


Diet and nutrition

A healthy mind goes with a healthy body so what we eat is also key to recovery from illness. Loss of appetite, over-reliance on ready meals when busy, or regular reliance on alcohol as a way to deal with stress don’t make for the best diet plan. And they can cause additional health worries. 

If your diet is the cause of illness, as it can be for those who need a gluten-free life, advice on nutrition can be the key to feeling well and full beans. The Nutrition for Mental Health video in the Enjoy Benefits wellness package looks at the biological factors that can influence our mental well-being. You can read more about it here.


Wellness and returning to work: summary

Being aware of our state of mind and managing that effectively brings with it confidence and creates an environment where you can flourish. It’s a tale we’ve heard many times in the media when people have picked themselves up from rock bottom. 

We all need help to do that and a package of support benefits is a way of helping staff manage the things that life throws at us. 

If I still haven’t convinced you about the value of wellbeing then look at the evidence. 

Employees who feel their workplace cares about their wellbeing achieve higher customer engagement, profitability, productivity, lower turnover, and fewer safety incidents, according to research by Gallup. 

What’s good for staff really is good for business too.


Get the wellbeing programme for your staff

If you’d like to find out more about the Health and Wellbeing package available from Enjoy Benefits, you can browse the full offer here.

We explain the package in detail in this recent blog post too. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more about our Wellbeing Programme, or any of the other employee benefits that we can offer your organisation.

Call 0800 088 7315 or use our Contact Form.

You can take a look at the full list of employee benefits that we offer here.


About Us

 At Enjoy Benefits, we have great experience in helping companies of all sizes introduce benefits that are suitable for their workplace.

Benefits are easy to set up and ongoing administration is then run through a hub, allowing employees to manage their own benefits while the employer can see which benefits are proving popular and what level of take-up each has had.

If you would like an obligation free chat to discuss which benefits might work for your business and your employees, please contact us by calling 0800 088 7315 or using our Contact Form.