How To Transition Back To Work From Furlough Leave

Ya girl got the call. After 9 long weeks of furlough, I’m heading back to work this week. I’m so lucky that I am in an industry where I can comfortably work from home, with little to no obstacles, but also eternally grateful to my company for putting these procedures in place to protect me and my partner, who is currently shielding.

That being said, I can’t say I’m not terrified of going back to work after a mandated 9 week holiday. I genuinely don’t even remember my password. After sitting and thinking about it, and doing my own research, I’ve decided to bring you the things I’ll be doing in the run up to my return from work to make the transition as easy as possible.


I’m very lucky in that I’ve kind of pre-empted this. As of approximately 4 days ago, my sleep pattern was so out of whack. I was getting to sleep around 5am, and waking up in the afternoon. Now, I work a standard 9-5 so this would not do at all. I’ve started to bring my sleeping schedule back to normal, so that I can be up well before my 9am start. See my post here for tips in getting a good night sleep.

Overcoming “back to work” anxiety and guilt.

I was the first person on my team to be placed on furlough, and as a result my team was working for a month without me, before they themselves were placed on furlough. I’ve felt incredibly guilty about this the whole time I’ve been off. I’ve taken some time today to stave off my guilt, as it was a situation entirely out of my control. Additionally, my anxiety has been at an all time high during furlough, to the point where I have started medicating again. However, I understand that this whole situation is unprecedented (blergh) and that it’s expected that it will take me a while to get back used to things. Again, mega appreaciative to my company for their continued support. If you are struggling with your mental health in this horrid time, you can find support resources here.

Carve out a “spot” in your home that works for you.

I’m one of those people who has a dining table to look fancy and literally never uses it. Before furlough, it was where I was working from home – near to the kitchen, the loo and the back door, to let the dogs out. I decorated it with plants and candles and turned it in to a happy space, and will be doing the same when I start back. Increasing my comfort has always benefited my productivity, and puts me in a great mindset to crack on with work.

Don’t expect too much from yourself.

Having your life together is easy when you have no responsibilities. It’s easy to work out first thing. It’s easy to make a fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Add a full time job in the mix and your waking day is cut in half. Don’t punish yourself for not being able to keep up all at once. It’s better to ease yourself back in with all these things.

The world is a scary place at the moment, and it was scary leaving work behind. It’s also okay to feel scared about going back, because lets be honest, we’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s unlikely we will again in our lifetime. Keep safe out there dudes.

You can find more mental health posts here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *