The final tip about returning employees from furlough is about not missing the opportunity to create a plan should this happen again - and I don't necessarily mean exactly the same situation.
It doesn't have to be a covid-19 (or covid-20, whatever the next strain could be) - ie a pandemic. It could just be similar things that happen in the business. All organisations have had to deal with things that they've never had to deal with before. Six months ago if we'd asked people “Do you think you need to plan for a pandemic where you might have to send all your employees home - or most of your employees home, and have people working from home with only a couple of days’ notice.” We would have probably laughed at the people who suggested that. We now know that it could happen.
We've been through the experiences over the last seven or eight weeks
and we're going to go through more experiences over the coming weeks (months probably) about integrating people back to work. There are so many lessons that have been learned. There will be things that we've done brilliantly first time which we’d do exactly the same again. There will be lots of things that we've not done in the best way and, in hindsight, we could have done it better.
I think it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to actually have a robust process going forward where people know exactly what their roles and responsibilities would be in such a situation. Going forward we’d know how to gain information, we’d know how to enable people to work from home,
we’d know how to phase people back into the workplace, and instead of panicking we’d just say “Well, this has happened before - here's our plan and these are the lessons that we learned. Let's implement this - it will be much smoother than next time.”
So, I would suggest not missing that as an opportunity. Hope that helps and as ever if you need any more advice or information about workplace mediation then give us a call.