If you decide to return to work or have kept in touch with your coworkers, how you relate to them will be similar to how you relate to your friends. However, keep in mind that there are certain dynamics that you will need to be aware of in your work environment.
Here are some tips on how to relate with your coworkers before and after you return to work:
- Keep your coworkers updated: Continue to update your coworkers about your progress. Consider meeting them for lunch or stopping by for an office party. Your continued connection will help all of you prepare for your transition back to work.
- Think about how you will share your story: Before returning to work, you will need to think about what you are comfortable sharing with your coworkers and superiors. On one hand, you may not wish to discuss lymphoma or be associated with it in any way, especially if you work in a highly competitive environment. On the other hand, you may wish to be candid and speak frankly to those around you in order to correct misperceptions and establish a comfortable relationship moving forward. Decide which approach is best for you and who you will be comfortable speaking with. Recognize that what you say to some people will not be the same as what you say to others.
- Discuss your expectations: Before you begin work again, you may wish to share how you would like to be treated with your boss, manager, or close coworker who is most familiar your situation. They should be able to help those around you understand your situation and work with your colleagues to create a welcoming environment.
- Be prepared to handle mistreatments: There may still be some coworkers who do not understand lymphoma and your ability to manage your work responsibilities while recovering from treatment. Due to fear and lack of knowledge, they may think that you are not able to work as well as before or that your health will continue to decline. If you find that a coworker has been mistreating and interfering with your job, try resolving the problem with them face-to-face. If the issues are still unresolved, seek help from another coworker, your manager, or your human resources department.