Most cancer survivors chose to return to full-time work after treatment. Ideally, you and your employee will agree on a schedule for resuming previous responsibilities and/or workload. But because of the nature of cancer, your employee may not be able to stick to the plan as discussed. He or she may have a setback or may be more fatigued than expected. It’s important to be flexible during this time and have support and backup in place. It’s also important to recognize when an employee is having a hard time sticking to the plan. To identify an employee who is having difficulty performing the job as early as possible: Be supportive. Have open lines of communication. Monitor the employee’s job performance.

If you are concerned about your employee’s performance and/or wellbeing, sit down with him or her and take another look at the transition plan. It’s important that the employee be engaged in setting his or her own pace. Consider letting the employee phase back in more gradually. For example, your employee might start by working three shorter days a week: one day at home and two in the office. When the employee feels ready to increase the amount of time he or she is working, the employee might increase the number of days a week and/or the number of worked each day.

Having the ability to mix part time, flex-time and/or telecommuting can help an employee return to work more easily.