Posted on Aug 12th 2020.
After months of working from home, many of us are now beginning to return to our places of work. Some people have been furloughed during this time, and therefore may not have been working. Getting staff back to speed brings a host of challenges for managers and owners.
Many companies are beginning to see a divide between those who were furloughed, and those that continued to work from home. Those that were furloughed often don’t understand just how difficult it was for those who had continued to work. This has garnered some feelings of resentment towards returning workers who want to take holiday days in the summer.
With furlough finally coming to an end, there will be millions of employees coming back to the workplace. This represents a unique challenge to managers in the weeks and months ahead. It is up to them to bridge the gap between furloughed workers and those that continued to work during the lockdown in order to bring everyone to speed.
Under the current scheme, workers placed on leave will continue to receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. From 1st August, employers will have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for their workers.
From September, employers will need to pay 10% of furloughed workers’ wages and this will be increased to 20% in October which will be the final month.
We are also seeing an increase in jealousy from workers that have continued to work from home or in their office over lockdown in comparison to Furlough workers that have been working a second job whilst also gaining an income from Furlough. Managers and owners should be aware of this when bringing Furlough works back to work. Here are my tips on getting the furlough works up to speed.
During lockdown we have lost our identities having been working in ways we never expected, a majority of us have been operating as individuals and spinning multiple plates so managers have a responsibility to collective, and bring that back together. When jealousies happen you really need to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities.
Easier said than done right?
No, as a leader you should have all the tools you need, don’t let them make their life and work environment about what others are doing – ensure that they get over it, they can only control their career and income not others. Remember what your goals are and concentrate on them, not what overs are doing or not. If you measure your happiness by those around you, you will always be disappointed.
Returning to work after furlough is just like coming back from sick leave or maternity and relationships need to be re-established; those that worked from home or stayed in office during lockdown will have a less disruptive return. Show support not spite, remember you can only control your own situation.
Look at your plan. Many businesses ripped up their business plan when we went into lockdown. Managers need to make sure everyone in the business is aware of their targets and goals, as everyone needs to be up to speed with the very different mission for the rest of this year. Show respect the more you give the more the magic will happen.
Replace negative energy for positive energy and you’ll be happy with the entire work force’s performance.
Budgets will be tight and workload may be heavy, but don’t ignore training and team development. This is very important at a time when pay increases are likely to be off the table except for the public sector. The BBC reported that almost 900,000 public sector workers are to get an above-inflation pay rise, including doctors and teachers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he recognised their “vital contribution” during the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury said the money for the pay increases of up to 3.1% would come from existing departmental budgets.
There may be uncertain times at work during this period. Even if you are coming back from furlough please remember they have not been made redundant, this is because the business needs you and your skills (now is the time to shine).
Remember you are in control of your own destiny, don’t worry about others as you’re not in control of them. Try and return to work with a new found confidence in your self and your skills.
You should embrace this as a new chapter and great new challenge and be grateful you have a place of work when so many others are losing their jobs or lives to this virus.
Make a good impression when returning, it’s important to show willingness to go above and beyond it can’t be for the sake of it to be genuine.
Going above and beyond doesn’t mean doing extra hours working till late cancelling family meals, going above and beyond can mean helping a co-worker with tasks, showing an interest in the company like getting to know other departments, sharing best practices.
As we continue to work through this pandemic, we will face more challenges. We need to keep checking our boundaries of work and life balance and not get blurred lines. Keep in mind that health is wealth.
If you require any support or guidance on how to help employees who are returning back from furlough, then feel free to contact us using the methods below.
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