Making changes at work
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Making changes at work

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For some people with joint and muscle pain, also known as musculoskeletal (MSK) pain, making changes at work can mean that they are able to stay in work or make a more timely return to work. This is important as research shows that the longer you are off work for the harder it can be to return. 

If your MSK condition is affecting your ability to remain in or return to work, it could be worth seeing if there are any changes that could be made in work that could help. We call these changes workplace modifications.  

The information on this page explains what workplace modifications are and how they can be applied. 

Examples of workplace modifications
Workplace modifications can help ensure that you're able to carry out your job safely and effectively. They can be temporary or permanent. Examples include:
  • providing additional training.
  • modifying work patterns and working hours — such as working from home.
  • flexi-time or part-time work.
  • modifying specific  work tasks.
  • allowing a phased return to work.
  • allowing an employee to be absent from work for treatment or rehabilitation.
  • changes to work equipment and furniture.
  • allowing extra time for breaks or adjusting the workload.
This is not an exhaustive list and any adjustments should be specific to your individual role.

If you feel you would benefit from making some workplace adjustments to help you manage you musculoskeletal condition, it is crucial that you discuss this with your manager sooner rather than later.

Phased return to work
It can be daunting to go straight into your full working hours and role after a period of absence. A phased return to work can be beneficial as it allows you to gradually return to your work without having to be 100%. It can also help ease you back into your usual work in a way that's best for you, whilst maintaining your recovery.

Commonly, a phased return to work lasts between two to six weeks but can be longer if necessary. This can be dependent on your employers local procedure. You might also find that your employer will allow flexible working as a way to return to work whilst maintaining your recovery. For example, working from home or changing your working pattern.

Case studies 
Read the stories below to find out about different types of changes that you can make in the workplace and the difference it can make.  

Disclaimer: The content on this page is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to replace a physiotherapy or medical consultation.

While we may include links to other websites, the Trust is not responsible for the content of any external sites, nor should selection be seen as an endorsement.

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