September marks a number of workplace milestones. Tens of thousands of commuters poured back into central London on the first Monday this month, with the capital seeing its busiest morning rush-hour since the pandemic hit. And then at the end of the month, employers will need to decide whether to take back their furloughed workers or make them redundant as the government’s furlough scheme comes to a close.
But as workers return to offices and furlough ends, how can you help your teams navigate this new normal.
There is no doubt that employee wellbeing has suffered over the past 18 months. Our ‘Big Return’ report, powerfully highlights that more needs to be done to support staff, revealing that 7 in 10 workers are nervous about returning after the furlough scheme ends.
Will those who have been extensively working from home settle in the office again? Will there be clashes between those who have been furloughed, those who worked from home and those who worked right through? Even the most united group may not gel after a year apart.
The end of furlough will bring many running costs under sharp focus, especially pay rolls, but ‘costly HR extras’ need to be fully considered at this time due to the huge financial benefits they bring. Put simply, better mental wellbeing equals better productivity. Businesses that aren’t looking after all aspects of their workforce’s wellbeing are missing a trick. Sourcing external support not only helps employees, but also employers, connecting someone with the specialist skills required quickly and accessibly.
Back on track
Many employees are returning to work feeling their career has been held back by the pandemic. According to our survey of 2,000 of the UK’s working population who worked from home during the pandemic, 84% of furloughed staff believe their career has been negatively impacted in some way over the last 12 months.
Recognising this and showing an understanding that people are worried about the future, both in terms of the landscape of the office and their personal development is key. Confidence is fragile. The traditional model of how we work has been blown away, and it will continue to leave some people very anxious. They’ll need careful handling; it’s another area where wellbeing support can help.
Download the full report which is available here to discover how you can support your team not just in September but in the months and years to follow. And to talk to a BHSF expert about developing a robust wellbeing strategy, contact us on 0121 454 3601 or visit www.bhsf.co.uk/employee-wellbeing-services