I was working for a Sydney-based company, and there was just two of us in Melbourne; one being myself and my supervisor, my boss at the time. And basically, he and I have known each other for a long time, so I was very... I was comfortable as I could ever have been to pick up the phone and actually be very upfront and tell him at the time what had happened. There was a lot of to and fro as to should I have taken the time off, but I really wanted to go back to work as soon as reasonably possible, to create some normality and what I felt was stability.
Unfortunately, things didn't really work out the way that I had probably would have wanted, where I went straight back to work. And, I let myself down a lot by just, without having the time to sit back and sort of absorb what had happened... Time, again, definitely would have taken time off work, whether it had been a week, 10 days, three weeks a month to really sort of sit back and absorb where I was at around rather than just doing what was normal. And, I think by feeling and not doing what was normal, I think, it was more of a... Well, that's what society would have expected me to do rather than what I should have done.
The biggest message I can sort of pass across here is just, you got to let whomever the person is have a bit of space and time. If they say that they want to come back to work, they wanna do this, they wanna be there on Monday, and it's happened on a Friday, you've just got to basically, not put your foot down, but just sort of strongly recommend that they need to take some time to obviously find out where they are in a head space. And then, they can come back and hopefully be a more effective employee coming forward.
My experience of going back in was totally my decision, but I became very ineffective because I was trying to do something. I was confronting people everyday. They were wanting to raise the question around what's happened. And really, it became focused around that than doing my job. In the end, it actually basically wound up with me leaving that position.
So, as an employer, you really need to sort of step back and allow them to grieve and deal with these things in the way that they need, rather than see it as a negative that... 'Cause I'm sure that that I know now. "Tim has to take a week off work and this is gonna affect our production in X way." They can't see it that way. And, they need to see the positive that by giving that person some space, not only will they come back as an effective employee, but hopefully be long-standing and better for it through the long run.