Making the most of furlough

Being placed on furlough may be an option given to you by your employer during the current COVID-19 crisis. Furloughed employees are not allowed to work during this period, so how do you use the time off work most effectively? Or keep yourself from going stir-crazy and depressed while staying at home, especially when you are by yourself.

Apart from the usual tips around looking for things you may have put on for a long time because you either did not want to do it or just really did not have time to do, it might be good as well, to keep your mind trained and awake.

When placed on furlough during the current crisis, consider these tips to keep your mind trained and awake

  1. You can start a new hobby from home. Knitting for example is to be said very therapeutic as it calms your thoughts and releases stress and tensions. You could also start working with other materials, such as wood. Or learning an instrument – which does not necessarily have the size of a piano or the noise of drums.
  2. Attend online courses to either develop new skills in your profession or learn new skills that may enhance your skills set. You could learn a new language, expand your knowledge in areas that might be add-on to your profession, such as HR legislation for recruiters.
  3. Become a volunteer for the NHS for example. If you do not want to risk getting in touch with people directly, entities may look for befrienders over the phone. Talk to people who are forced into self-isolation to feel less lonely. Generally, the NHS is looking for a lot of volunteers now. Volunteer to help elderly people to do their shopping for them or other things that need to be take care off, that they cannot do.
  4. Work on your goals for after the crisis. Set yourself targets nevertheless to work towards – to still have a purpose to get up. They can be job related with a promotion or new challenge in your current role in future. Or something personally like doing another degree maybe.

Finding ways to keep your mind healthy might be a key to overcome a situation of fear and uncertainty. Naturally physical exercise remains a key part of remaining healthy, so a combination of both will ensure you remain sharp, alert and ready for whatever faces you when you return to work.

Elena Longen is an EMEA Recruitment Lead based in our Centre of Excellence, Edinburgh.  Elena will be starting a furlough shortly and we look forward her having back to work as quickly as possible.

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