The Impact of Furlough

Let’s be honest, the majority of us would kill to be furloughed………. for about 3 weeks!

I often have this discussion with my friends, those working and those struggling to fill their days because they are furloughed and may have been since March 2020. Everyone loves a bit of down time, to start working through that list of snags in the house and maybe finally read ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ that everyone has been talking about.

But imagine waking up for the 300th day in a row thinking you have nothing to do today. You know all about creating routines, learning something new, taking exercise when you can, but you still can’t help missing the dynamic stimulation that comes from being at work. You even miss the challenging customers and the way you could never get a parking space if you arrived at work after 7:50am.

I don’t think most people on furlough are staying in bed beyond 9am, live in track suit bottoms and binge watch Netflix. In fact, I know many who volunteer in food banks, home school their children and unlike me have actually completed the Couch to 5K.  But their view of the world will have changed along with their routines and priorities. The sense of company loyalty may have reduced, they may have rethought their priorities and values and will undoubtedly be anxious and concerned whether they can and will have a place in the team as furlough ends.

And it is going to end, sooner than we are ready for and coming with two tremendous challenges for businesses:

  1. Establishing the full team back to working together (I have sensed a divide in businesses where some of a team have been furloughed whilst others work)
  2. Engaging that team to thrive in the new normal in spite of the changes that have happened and the potential challenges (including possible redundancies) to come.

But to quote Joe Biden you can ‘Build Back Better’ and doing that can start now, before furlough ends. Our It’s the Thought That Counts Programme is a 4-week virtual learning and development programme that focuses on creating an I Have Got This! mindset.  It includes weekly webinars, daily challenges and social learning. You can start to build back camaraderie and develop a positive mindset to ensure everyone is in a good place to propel your business forward when furlough ends.

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