The Substitute

Your tasks have been taken over by others. That can be colleagues and maybe you have a replacement/substitute. Then it is really important that the subsitute helps you for a while.


The tasks cannot be returned to you immediately. If you return for 25%, that 75% will still have to be done by someone else. Keep in mind that 25% now is not the same as 25% before the burnout. You are really minimal taxable.


The subsitute is part of your reintegration process. You will regularly need the him. To fall back on, because tasks are disappointing, because business processes have started to run differently, etc. 


Don’t feel guilty about it, just use it.


Own experience

I have used my subsitute a lot. The fact that he was there gave me the space to reintegrate in peace. In addition to teaching, he took over all peripheral matters. So just the core, teaching exam classes, that’s what I did. He did the rest, including contact with parents and children.


I also learned a lot from him. How does he do certain things, how does he deal with stress and pressure, what does he do differently and what else can I learn from him, when does he say No and choose for himself, etc.


His departure did not take place until I was 150% sure that I could carry out my core tasks again.


What’s positive?

In the first instance, the substitute ensures that the business processes continue as usual, so you don’t have to think about that. Only when you are ready to take over very simple and small tasks.


Your subsitute is also your way out (2.2) when things don’t go well.


He might do things differently. Maybe easier or smarter. learn from him 



1. Take plenty of time before letting go of the substitute         

2. The substitute is part of your reintegration           

3. He remains primarily responsible for the tasks taken over           

4. The external contacts also go through him           

5. He will only go when you are 150% sure that it is possible           

6. See what he does better, smarter or different           


For the employer

Under the motto: if we all run a little faster, then we can handle this, tasks are often divided among the other colleagues.


This is a great idea in the short term, but not always sustainable in the longer term. The other colleagues also have their limits.


It is better if there is a “real” subsitute. Not only is the pressure off the other colleagues, the sick colleague also does not feel the pressure to come earlier.