Category: News

Going back to work after furlough

Posted: 4th September 2020

As restrictions ease and workplaces reopen, the workforce is gradually returning to help companies enter the next phase. However, going back to work after furlough will undoubtedly come with a mix of emotions.

Reportedly, over a quarter of the population were placed on the Government’s furlough scheme as a result of Covid 19. Some will be keen to return, raring to get back to some routine and normality. For others, there may be some apprehension and anxiety around returning to your role.

Don’t worry there are lots of ways to alleviate those back to work nerves.

What employers can do…

Talk to your employees about their return to work. Understand they will all have had different experiences during this period. Discuss what has been put in place and any concerns the employee may have.

Websites such as the Scottish Governments website –https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-returning-to-work/ or

Acas- https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/furlough-scheme-pay/start-extend-end-furlough have lots of useful information to ensure you are keeping yourself right.

What you can do…

Firstly, figure out what you are anxious about…

Is it your travel to work, social distancing within the workplace? Hygiene measures in place? Feeling you are out of practice?

Talk to your employer…

Don’t feel embarrassed to discuss your concerns or apprehensions with your employer. It is natural to feel uneasy about your return after so long away. You will not be alone in feeling like this. Your workplace will have taken many precautions to make your return to work as safe as possible, so talk to your employer about what has been put in place. If your commute is causing concern, discuss the possibilities of flexible working hours or working from home.

Try to get back into a routine before you return…

Many of us have been living without any routine while on furlough. This could mean waking and staying up later. Try to get back into the practice of going to sleep and getting up in time for your working day, getting a good night’s sleep can help with anxiety.

Write to-do lists…

If you have tasks that you want to be completed before you return to work, write them down. Break them down into achievable chunks and set yourself a to-do list. Getting tasks done and cleared from your head can help reduce anxiety as well as getting you back into the swing of being productive at work.

Brush up your skills…

Going back to work after furlough may make you feel you have deskilled in your role. Look into refresher courses online. If possible, play around on programs you use at work to familiarise yourself again. Make sure you know all your passwords before you return and this will help you not feel so out of touch on your first day back

Continue to include activities you have found beneficial…

If you have recently taken up exercising, running, cycling, yoga, reading, a craft, meditating, anything which has been beneficial to your mental health, then keep doing it! It is important to continue to include these activities as life becomes busier again.

Need more help?…

If you need more help you can always look at sites such as Mental Health UK- this article has a great idea of taking your thoughts to court- https://mentalhealth-uk.org/blog/returning-to-work-after-furlough-how-to-manage-the-anxieties-you-might-be-feeling/

Or SAMH- https://www.samh.org.uk/get-involved/workplace