The thought of being furloughed was met with very mixed emotions. I was quite relieved / excited to have a break because we had all been working hard and I am a big fan of an early finish or bank holiday…but at the same time I had no idea how long this would last for or what things might look like once this was all over.
One of the strangest things I had to adapt to was not seeing or speaking to the rest of the team on a daily basis during the week. This had been the one constant thing we had both pre Covid and during with daily Zoom chats. I am fortunate enough to work with great people and our Whatsapp group chat has definitely helped during these times.
I was amazed at some of the responses I received from friends and family when I explained I had been put on the furlough scheme. The majority who understood what it was felt sorry for me and I was receiving ‘pick me up’ messages or sad faces when I told them.
This threw me the most because I didn’t see it as a negative. I saw it as an opportunity to hopefully preserve my job and for Elite to still be standing at the end unlike some unfortunate companies who have sadly not made it through.
Before Furlough Emma made it very clear that she would bring us back as soon as she reasonably could and I think that has always been in the back of the mind during this time off. With that in mind, I have tried to stick to some structure during the week like I would if I was working.
This includes waking up and getting up at the same time as my boyfriend every day. He has been working throughout and I didn’t want to get into a lazy habit. I have also tried to ensure that I haven’t stayed up too late or have too much alcohol during the week again to try and avoid getting bad habits.
I was determined before starting Furlough that I wanted to achieve some jobs. I can safely say that I have ticked some of these off of the list including painting our shed and exterior walls and helping to repaint our front wall.
Keeping fit and active
Before Covid put us in lockdown I was completing my 14th season with my local hockey club. Sadly like many competitions we didn’t get to finish the season and with no prospect of hockey until at least August/ September I have tried to keep fit with running, Joe Wickes, cycling, walking and growing vegetables on my small plot. As a former PE teacher I am an outdoors person and have enjoyed being able to get out more and even become a bit of an addict to the fitness tracker app Strava and the online challenges.
Trying something new
With so much extra time and no real responsibilities (no children or animals) I wanted to try and learn or do something new. This has really varied depending on the weather with experimenting with new cooking recipes, baking bread, trying virtual Yoga and even learning to play the guitar (very basic).
The future of working after furlough
It has been a really interesting experience both working from home full time as well as working in the office in a safe, social distanced way since Covid-19 has hit us.
Personally, I don’t mind doing either way of working. I walk or cycle to work and the thought of commuting each day doesn’t worry me at all. I feel 100% safe in the office with the measures that have been put in place and I enjoy seeing and being around the team to bounce ideas and share banter.
In the past we have been told by clients and friends that as an office we laugh a lot and that is definitely the thing I have missed the most about not being in the office. Sharing successes and team meetings are also much better in person than on Zoom though we have been lucky that the technology has allowed those to continue!
I do think there is a value and benefit to having the option to work from home or having a flexible approach as a company.
I am fortunate enough to have an office space at home that I can use effectively and with a laptop and work mobile set up I can literally work from anywhere with wifi. Having adjusted to it in the first couple of weeks of lockdown I am confident that when I need to work from home again I can support clients and candidates in exactly the same way as if I were in the office.
Is your team feeling ready to come back to the office? Have you put all the safety measures in place that are needed?
We’re working at full steam and ready to put fresh talent in your offices when you’re ready to embrace the new normal and push your business forward!