Tips on returning to work from furlough and Becky’s Story

Tips on returning to work from furlough and Becky’s Story

Tue 21 July

With the furlough scheme due to end in October, many of you may be getting ready to return to work after spending many months in coronavirus lockdown. 

For many people, returning to work is a positive thing. But for others, especially those who are living with a brain tumour, or caring for someone who is, going back to ‘normal’ may feel daunting and upsetting.


Today we’re sharing some tips on how to transition back to work, as well as talking to our Shop Supervisor Becky about her experience being furloughed and how she’s getting No 31 ready to welcome our supporters and patients now she’s back at work.

Tips on returning to work from furlough


Have honest conversations with your employer


The first thing you should do is have an honest conversation with your manager. If you need to take public transport to get to work, you might want to see if you can work different hours from the traditional 9-5 when buses and trains are typically quieter.


It’s especially important to have this conversation if you’re living with someone with a brain tumour, or have one yourself, as you’re in a higher risk group. 


Access support available


It’s natural to feel anxious about returning to work after such a long time being isolated. Lockdown ‘burnout’ has been widely covered by the press and it will remain a key issue as people try to adjust to this new way of life. This is especially the case for people also dealing with a serious health condition such as a brain tumour.


Support is available, so do make sure you access it if your mental health is struggling. Take a look at the employee benefits offered to you, many workplaces provide employee assistance and mental health helplines where you can access support if you need it. If you’re living with a brain tumour or are a carer, you may also be able to access Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity counselling support.


Get a good night’s sleep


You might have slipped into a slightly different routine while you’ve been furloughed, including staying up and waking up later than you would if you were at work. Try and get back into a normal routine as lack of sleep will make you prone to serious medical conditions and poor mental health.


Returning to the workplace is likely to feel stressful, so doing everything you can to protect your mental health is advised. If you’re not sure how to improve your sleep, we created an article on how to get a better quality night's sleep and our Counsellor has created a sleep hypnotherapy recording for you too.


Be kind to yourself 


If you’ve been furloughed while some of your colleagues have continued working, you may be coming back to a very different workplace than you left. Use of technology for meetings and discussions has skyrocketed, processes and procedures have been forced to change and water cooler conversations are a thing of the past thanks to social distancing rules.


This might feel very overwhelming at first, and it will take time to get used to. So be kind to yourself, no-one is expecting you to pick it all up right away. Make sure you keep your manager informed of how you’re feeling and talk to your colleagues if you’re struggling to pick something up.

How Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity is getting ready to open


Becky, our shop supervisor at No 31 shares how Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity is getting ready to open, and how she’s coping returning to work after being furloughed.


“When we locked the door of No 31 on March 18th, I would never have guessed that I wouldn’t be back in the shop for four months. I’ve spent the last four months on furlough and it has certainly been an odd experience. It has felt strange knowing that the rest of the YBTC team have continued to be hard at work.


“I’ve missed many things whilst being on furlough, but mainly I’ve missed all the people I get the pleasure of seeing every day. Whether that be the rest of the YBTC team, my fellow Shop Supervisor Sammy, our amazing volunteers who make every day in the shop fun, or all of our lovely customers who I miss talking to every day. 


“Walking back into the shop I felt a mix of emotions as nothing had changed. Literally nothing. The same Mother’s Day promotions on display, the same clothes hanging and bric-a-brac on the shelves. It was the beginning of July, nearly the middle of summer, and the shop was still brimming with winter coats and cardigans. It was as though time had stopped in the shop and everything else had kept moving…


“That is, aside from the bags upon bags and boxes of donations that generous people have donated to us over this time. The shop floor was full. Full of items from people who, at a time when we were all thinking about ourselves and loved ones, had spared a thought for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity and No 31.


“Our shop and café relies on the kindness of others, and I cannot be more thankful for all of the donations and support we have received over this time. I am so looking forward to reopening the shop and welcoming everyone back. Although things may be different to begin with, I am confident that it will still have all the qualities that people love of No 31. I can’t wait to see you all soon!”


If you’re getting ready to return to work, we hope these tips help you settle in quickly. We look forward to welcoming you back to No 31, you can read more about our opening hours here. 

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