The Importance of Workplace Social Relations in the Return to Work Process: A Missing Piece in the Return to Work Puzzle?

  • Åsa Tjulin
  • Ellen MacEachen
Part of the Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability book series (SHHDW, volume 1)


The chapter elaborates how workplace social relations influence practice in the return to work process. The social conditions in which the return to work process is embedded, and the way social interaction and relations between the sick-listed worker and other workplace actors (supervisor and coworkers) evolve, have only been researched to a limited extent. In this book chapter, we will discuss critical new dimensions of social relations research in the field of return to work that can “make” or “break” a workplace return to work process. These critical new dimensions highlight the importance of viewing return to work as a dynamic process over time, where supervisors and coworkers display shifting roles depending on phases of the process. The chapter conveys new dimensions of social relations, acknowledging the positive contribution of coworker efforts in the process, which may have an important impact on workplace-based return to work interventions.


Social Relation Sickness Absence Work Ability Work Process Work Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Helath Care and Social WelfareMälardalens UniversityVästeråsSweden
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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