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Furlough survey

Near three in ten (28pc) of workers furloughed feel less loyal to their employer post-furlough, according to a survey by Censuswide on behalf of KnowBe4, a security awareness training and simulated phishing platform. The survey was of 1000 Britons returning to work after a period of furlough.

Some 70pc conceded to either not feeling supported by their employer, receiving little to no information or guidance prior to returning to work and/or did not receive regular communications from them. In fact, the actions employers take, or lack thereof, to ease the transition from furlough appears to play a significant role in employee sentiments upon their return to work.

Upon returning to work, a third (33pc) of respondents experienced feelings of stress and anxiety. Equally, a third (33pc) admitted to feeling happy and excited. Some 40pc of respondents in education mostly felt stressed/anxious when resuming with work, as opposed to a quarter (24pc) of respondents in travel and transport. Of those feeling stressed/anxious, over half (57pc) did not feel supported by their employer, received little to no information or guidance and/or were not in regular communication with them. Conversely, nearly half (49pc) of those who expressed happiness/excitement claimed to feel supported by their employer. This is closely followed by 43pc who received regular communications, and 35pc who received ample information and guidance.

Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4 said: “There is no doubt that there are a myriad of factors that will influence how employees feel when they go back to work. Nevertheless, how employers respond can be instrumental in alleviating feelings of stress and help in cultivating a happier and more loyal workforce.

“This is an important consideration, not solely for the general well-being of employees or an organisation’s overall performance, but for their security, too. If loyalties towards an organisation begins to diminish, the business faces a greater risk of falling victim to an insider threat; malicious or otherwise. The employee may neglect to keep their corporate devices and passwords secure as they lose their sense of responsibility, for example, or they may just outright take company data to a competitor,” Malik continued.

In general, over a third of the UK’s returning workforce did receive regular communications from their employer (35pc), a third (33pc) felt supported during the furlough period, 28pc felt they were offered ample information and guidance and over a fifth (21pc) agreed they had been given the time and space needed to get back into work.

While on furlough, 34pc of respondents felt pressure either from their employer, colleagues, their clients or themselves to continue working during furlough. Of those who continued to work, 29pc worked both at home and from the office and 11pc worked in the office exclusively.

Over a third (38pc) respondents in the Finance sector feel less loyal to their employer after furlough, compared to just under a fifth (19pc) of respondents in education. A quarter (25pc) of respondents felt more loyal to their employer after furlough.

The Censuswide study was in November 2020 with 1,000 UK employees who had been put on furlough at some point during the pandemic.


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