Half of furloughed property professionals are anxious about their return to work

Almost half (44 per cent) of furloughed property 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 property professionals who had returned and classified their onboarding experience as “good” or “very good” were anxious.  In contrast, of those property professionals who had an onboarding experience they regarded as either “poor” or “very poor”, 70 per cent were anxious on their return to work. 

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 well-being and to ensure a productive returning workforce.”

Some industries are diligently onboarding furloughed staff returning to work – while others have failed to embrace it.  While a third of furloughed employees (34 per cent) receive either no (or very poor) onboarding on their return to work, this rose to 44 per cent of those working in Property.  By way of comparison, the best performing sector was Rail – where only 17 per cent said they had no or very poor on boarding.

Adrian Smith said: It’s worrying that such a high proportion of employees in property aren’t getting the onboarding attention they deserve.  Once property rejoiced in a reputation for being old-fashioned.  I thought we’d kicked the days of sub-standard HR in the industry into the long grass.

Equally, only 28 per cent of those property professionals who had weekly check-ins with their organisations said they were nervous about returning to work, compared to 50 per cent who had  bimonthly check-ins or 67 per cent who had no check-ins at all.

Adrian Smith said:The more that staff communicate, the better they work together  – accomplishing goals, developing skills, and giving and receiving feedback.  While furlough has changed the purpose of the check-in somewhat, the importance of keeping the lines of communication open remains undiminished.  While check-ins should appear relatively casual to employees, even in these strange times, managers need to follow a loose structure to ensure the time is used wisely, including preparation and taking notes.

Nine in every ten (90 per cent) property 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.

Adrian 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.”

Please visit: https://www.randstad.co.uk/jobs/