The furlough scheme, which has helped so many individuals and businesses through the darkest days of the global pandemic, officially comes to an end on 30th September. There are around one million workers still on the scheme – although sadly some won’t return to work when it ends.

For those that do, either on a part-time or full-time basis, a period of readjustment will certainly be required. Many furloughed workers of all ages have reported a dip in confidence and general anxiety about returning to work, with face-to-face communication skills and reacquainting themselves with technology two of the biggest concerns.

walking to the office with a briefcase

The return to the office will be daunting for many

Here at Sapience HR, we’re working with several of our clients to put together bespoke training needs analysis and effective micro-training programmes as workers return from furlough leave. If this is something you feel your business would benefit from please get in touch. However, we’ve also come up with a handy list of simple ideas which you could put into practice in-house to help ease the transition.

Technology & Systems Refresher Course

The end of furlough leave is an excellent opportunity to reacquaint all staff with your systems, processes and technology without anyone feeling like a spare part because they can’t remember how to use the photocopier!


Presentations are something staff at all levels can find daunting, so use this moment as an opportunity to instil confidence. Have an open discussion about format, recommended platforms, time, resources and outcomes for presentations, so that everyone knows what is, and isn’t, expected of them.


Whether your team have been entirely furloughed or working part-time from home, it’s unlikely that collaborating with others on projects – especially face-to-face – has been a major part of their lives during the pandemic. Create small groups and set up mini-projects to help people hone their collaborative skills again, and make sure outcomes have that feel-good factor.


During the pandemic, junior employees have been unable to gain valuable experience from working with senior colleagues. Make it a priority to set up a simple new mentoring scheme to help that vital experience filter down once again.

Away Days

Plan a series of away days or team building sessions. Focus on communication skills and relationship building to help create that sense of a team with a common purpose once again.

Man people models

Training will help retain talent and rebuild workforce confidence

Finally, if you’re looking to help people brush up on their essential soft skills, LinkedIn Learning is a good place to start. You can trial it for a month for free, so why not encourage employees to try out a few sessions to build their confidence? Topics include:

  • Speaking Confidently and Effectively
  • Communicating with Confidence
  • Critical Thinking
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Time Management Fundamentals
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

As you know, here at Sapience HR we love sharing our expertise and have previously written about minimising stress on the return to the workplace, how to improve employee engagement, and how to create a post-pandemic team strategy. You can imagine how insightful our bespoke advice is when we really get to know you! If you would like to talk to us about getting the most out of your workforce in these changing times, please give us a call to start the conversation.