As further lockdown restrictions begin to lift, many companies have started the process of bringing their employees off furlough and back into the workforce. While many members of staff will be eager to return to work, the impact of the past four months may cause some to feel apprehensive about their return to work.
To help, we’ve put together a useful guide which we hope will make the return to work after furlough a reassuring and encouraging process.
If you’ve been on furlough for a considerable amount of time, it’s normal that any daily routine you had went out the window. You may not have set an alarm from the past few months, but if you’re returning to work it’s important to adjust back into your old routine as quickly as possible. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Give your body a chance to adjust to your new routine by going to bed and waking up at your usual ‘working day’ time ahead of starting back. This will help your body clock return to normal and allow you to feel energised on your first day back.
- Make a list of daily tasks that will need to be completed, both for work and in your everyday life. This will be especially important if you’ll be working from home while juggling other commitments - such as looking after children. Knowing the structure of your day will help you to feel more organised while allowing you to prioritise your time and tasks accordingly.
- If you are returning to the office check your commute before your first day back. Some buses, trains and trams are yet to return to their original timetables and lots of new roadworks have sprung up across the country. To avoid being late on your first day back, check your normal route of travel to see if any of these affect you directly.
- Be aware of any changes which may have occurred within the company during your time off. Organise a call with your line manager ahead of your first day back to discuss these. You could also refresh your working knowledge and capabilities via online training courses. There’s an abundance of these available, many of which are free of charge.
- For many of us, furlough will have been the longest amount of time we’ve had off work, so be prepared to feel a little tired after your first week back. At the same time, make sure you do something to celebrate your return – be it with a relaxing bath at the end of the week, a bottle of wine or a nice meal.
Despite best intentions, it’s important to remember that things may arise that you didn’t plan for. This is a new experience for everyone, and so your first few weeks back may be a little different from your previous way of working. By being flexible and able to adapt to situations, you’ll successfully deal with any issues.
Health and Safety
If you’re happy to return to the office for work, or have been asked to do so by your employer, it’s important you’re aware of any health and safety measures that have been put in place. Your company should have completed a health and safety assessment before reopening the office to identify any potential risks, from which they’ll have developed a plan for employees to adhere to.
Read up on your company’s policy ahead of your first day back to gain a good understanding of what is expected and raise any queries you have ahead of this. If you feel uncomfortable at any point don’t be afraid to speak up. Similarly, if colleagues come across as anxious or cautious around you respect this and give them the space they need.
If you’re apprehensive about using public transport to return to work, speak to your manager. You may be able to continue working from home or alter your hours so you’re not travelling during peak rush hour times.
Having regular communications with your manager can help relieve any concerns you may have about your return to work. This will allow you to develop a plan of action as to how you will address these concerns before your return to work.
At the same time – and if you feel comfortable doing so – raise any issues or changes to your own circumstances you think your line manager should know about, especially if these might have an impact on your work. Your line manager will be understanding and considerate of any concerns raised.
For any assistance with your recruitment needs over the coming months – or for advice on how to fully prepare for your return to work after furlough – please contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to put you in touch with one of our specialist consultants:
firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)1625 541 030