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Post-Furlough Anxiety – Reassuring FMs Returning to Work

Post-Furlough Anxiety – Reassuring FMs Returning to Work
12 May 2021

Almost half (44 per cent) of furloughed FM professionals are anxious about their return to work, according to recruiter Randstad.

A poll of almost 8,000 workers from across the UK highlighted the relationship between post-furlough anxiety and the failure to offer best practice HR. 

Only 33 per cent of those FM professionals who had returned and classified their onboarding experience as “good” or “very good” were anxious, similar to the rates across the UK (32 per cent). 

In contrast, of those facilities managers who had an onboarding experience they regarded as either “poor” or “very poor”, 70 per cent were anxious on their return to work. 


“Normally the onboarding process would be reserved for introducing newly hired employees into an organisation. But these aren’t normal times and workers who have been furloughed for a year will benefit from some help integrating back into the wider company." 

–Adrian Smith

Senior Director of Operations, Randstad UK


Importance of Check-Ins to Employee Welfare


Equally, only 28 per cent of those FM professionals who had weekly check-ins with their organisations said they were nervous about returning to work, compared 50 per cent who have bi-monthly check-ins or 67 per cent who had no check-ins at all.  The figures were equally pronounced across other industries.

Adrian Smith, Senior Director of Operations at Randstad UK said: “Normally the onboarding process would be reserved for introducing newly hired employees into an organisation.  But these aren’t normal times and workers who have been furloughed for a year will benefit from some help integrating back into the wider company. 




"It might be arduous for some teams who are spread pretty thin at the moment but while standard onboarding might be expected to last for a couple of weeks to be effective, post-furlough onboarding is much shorter.  Done properly, it will help employees feel more confident and competent when they get back on the job.  It's about investing the time to protect wellbeing and to ensure a productive returning workforce.”

Across the UK, the improvements in staff wellbeing driven by more regular check-ins shrank with age. Younger workers (18-35) with monthly check-ins were 13 per cent happier than those with bimonthly check-ins.  Middle-aged employees were 12 per cent happier.  But workers over 68 only saw a 5 per cent uplift.


Facilities Management's COVID Concerns


Nine in every ten (90 per cent) FM professionals in the UK say they have concerns about COVID-19 at work - higher than the UK average (84 per cent). 

By far the most common concern is catching the virus - with 45 per cent saying they are worried they will catch it at work while 33 per cent are worried for their family’s health as a result.  One in every seven (15 per cent) say they are worried by its impact on their organisation.

While 90 per cent of male FM professionals have concerns about COVID-19 at work, 91 per cent of women do.

But the least concerned workers are those over 68, a full 20 per cent of whom say they have no concerns about COVID at work.  At the other end of the spectrum, 95 per cent of 26-35-year-olds say they are worried about COVID at work.

Smith said: “Clearly, there is nervousness up and down the country about COVID and workers’ concerns are not limited to whether or not you might catch it. It's important for employers to make their teams feel safe in their working environment.” 

Picture: a photograph of a group of people having a meeting around a table, wearing face masks

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 May 2021


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