Hints & Tips for Return to Work for Furloughed Employees

As more and more businesses are starting to return to work or think about returning to work, what do businesses need to keep in mind?

So much has changed in the world of business since the Covid-19 Pandemic started, and not just businesses but their employees have had to radically adapt their thinking, their way of life. So, naturally, the prospect of coming back to work will bring up a few questions.

 “Do I need to come back to work?”

Well… technically yes. The general advice out there to businesses, is that you have the right to tell your employees to come back to work. If they have accrued leave, let them use it, but you need your employees for your business to function properly. Although, we would advise to consider the emotional and mental toll this whole experience has taken on your employees.

Take the employees perspective into account and deal with it not just reasonably, but compassionately. Remember that each situation is different, for example; the employee has been successfully working from home, their children still haven’t returned to school so need to balance work and childcare, they fall within the shielded category so are still having to follow strict guidelines, they could be afraid of returning to work and bringing the virus home with them or they have refused to come back to work.

“I’ve been furloughed for so long, what if that has affected me?”

Some employees right now are, understandably, a little anxious about coming back to work, after not working through the period of the lockdown. They have been focussed on other areas of their life, like becoming the stay at home teacher for their children and learning how to deal with day to day life differently. So, re-onboarding your employees and getting them back up to speed with work is important, make sure that you are communicating with them frequently and providing the support when they need it.

Having regular catch ups with how they are getting on, being open to helping with their questions will go a long way in getting everyone back on track.

“What has changed since the beginning of the lock down?”

 There will undoubtedly been various changes over the last few months, from companies realigning their processes so that working from home for all or the majority of the company could be possible, to focussing more so on a certain few services that the company provides or adding in additional services had never been done before. All businesses have had to change rapidly, so let your employees know what these changes are and how it may affect them or will affect them in their job role. Open and honest communication is key!

“Will there be support for me after I’m back in work?”

There won’t just be the changes that are happening right now. As the lockdown continues to be eased and as business cultures start to adapt, this may very well keep altering the way businesses work and their internal processes. This means that your employees will have to keep adapting as well.

To manage these scenarios, ensure you are conducting regular check-ins and 1-2-1s with your employees. This will help your employees feel supported and ease them into the adjustments a little easier.

A theme has become obvious throughout various discussions with the businesses that we work with, on how they can move forward, that theme is people management. Although task management is still an essential component to all businesses, adjusting your focus onto your employees and ensuring they feel supported is a priority.

We are here to help you to make sure your businesses return to work is as smooth as possible. For more information on what we can do to help you, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat. Email info@breedonconsulting.co.uk for a call back with a member of our team.