Life on Furlough
As of June 2020, more than 6.3 million workers have been furloughed – at the beginning of this year, I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you what that meant.
However, I am now one of those 6.3 million on furlough – the pause button has been pressed on my career whilst we live through the coronavirus pandemic and hopefully, we will be able to hit the resume button in the not too distant future.
The experience of being furloughed will be different for everyone, for some there will be anxiety and mental health struggles, for others, especially those parents who are home schooling, there may be feelings of gratitude that they have the time to devote to this whilst being paid 80% of their salary.
We understand the reasons for being furloughed – for my part, we lost most of our business almost overnight with vacancies and interviews cancelled as they anticipated the impact of the pandemic on their own businesses.
To stay motivated, I have focused on running regularly – this has been key for my own positive mental health. It has given me a target whether it be improving my speed or increasing the distance I run. After 6 years in my home, I have also finally had time to work on my garden – I have even downloaded an app that tells me what all of the plants are (essential after realising that I had chopped down my husband’s raspberry canes, thinking that they were unwanted brambles!) Both running and gardening have filled a void for me – they have provided me with a much-needed purpose and given me the sense of achievement that I am not currently able to enjoy through work.
We will return to a new normal although it remains to be seen how soon that will be. We will undoubtedly see more staff working from home so one positive outcome may well be that many will be able to achieve more of that work / life balance that we all strive for. I had been working both from our office and from home so I know from personal experience how well this can work with the right processes and communication channels in place. However, I believe that when people return to work, there will also be a desire to return to the office, to meet up with colleagues, share ideas and discuss opportunities once again.
I have been very fortunate whilst furloughed as my husband has continued to work as normal, albeit from home. So, although frustrated that I have not been able to work for Bluetree, I have really enjoyed precious time with my family. I am looking forward though to returning to work and adapting our service to the post epidemic marketplace when it is safe to return and our clients, old and new, are ready to start recruiting again with our help.
Article by Debbie Welch