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Returning to Work After Furlough

For many people in the UK and around the world, 2020 has been a year to forget. The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has literally caused the world to stop and re-think everything that we would consider as 'normal'.

The way that we went about our daily lives has had to have an instant change. From how we interact with friends and family, our views on personal hygiene and how we behave with our surroundings. Not only have these things impacted how we live but how we work. 

As a result of the sudden disruption caused by COVID-19, businesses have had to totally readjust to new ways of operating, with many having to spend incredible amounts of money to adapt to health measures put into place by the government or even having to let a number of their employees go due to uncertainties. 

To help alleviate the stress felt by businesses in the UK, particularly when it comes to staff, the UK government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as furlough. This scheme enabled organisations to temporarily lay off their staff while they readjust to a new business environment, with 80% of wages being covered up to £2,500 a month.

The time that employees were placed on furlough, however, was and is down to the employer, with some workers being out of work for months. With the easing of restrictions and businesses able to adapt, workers gradually began to be recalled to work but just like every other aspect of life since COVID appeared, things at the workplace may not be as they once were. 

If you are returning to work after furlough, read on to find out how you can make the transition back into working life a smoother one. 



Get into a routine 

If you were one of the many workers placed on furlough for a number of months, the chances of following a daily regular routine are pretty low. With nothing really to focus your day around, the opportunity to stay in bed or snuggle up on the sofa may have been too good to pass up.

Therefore, if you are transitioning back into work, whether that's going back to the office or working from home, it is vital that you try to get into a regular routine again. To start, try going to bed and waking up at a specific time, this will give you a basis to work from and will make further changes easier. 


Talk to the people around you 

As a result of being placed on furlough, you may have had little to no communication with your colleagues or managers, except for finding out when you'd be returning to work.

By communication with these people, you may begin to feel more comfortable with new working conditions as well as getting rid of any worries that you have about returning to work after furlough. 

A great way to do this is to set up a 'return to work' meeting with your employer where you can be honest and open about any concerns you may have and find out the ways that they plan to support and help you.


Consider being flexible 

To go from not working at all for months on end to suddenly being thrust back into a working environment on a full-time basis may be too much for some people to handle. As a result, why not talk to your employer about flexibility options and whether your return can be based on a flexible schedule until you get back up to speed.  

This can be done through reduced hours, having different start and finish times or being offered a staggered return. Having these options may go a long way in making you feel more comfortable with a return to employment.


Care for your mental health 

Being away from work for a prolonged period of time may cause you to feel anxious about going back, especially when it comes to your performance levels. 

You may begin to worry that as a result of being placed on furlough, you're not going to be able to perform to the same standards as before. This may have a knock-on effect on your levels of motivation also. If these feelings sound familiar, a number of exercises exist, such as mindfulness meditation, that can help your mental state and ease the worries you have. 


If you are one of the millions of UK workers that are having to go back to work after furlough and are worried about how you are going to cope, following the above tips will go a long way in making the transition a far easier one. 


For more tips and advice on worklife, be sure to keep an eye on our socials and blog where we share regular pieces of content that aim to help you. You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram

We can also help you find a new position if after returning to work from furlough you come to realise you'd like a new direction in life. You can find a list of the jobs we are currently recruiting for below. 

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