June 24, 2022

Return from furlough

Return from furlough

Return from furlough


I am relieved to have a role to go back to and a date to return to the office where I can see real life people again and to be known as Louise and not just cries of ‘Mummy!’
As the week passes, I wonder what it is going to be like in centre with all the COVID procedures in place. Hand sanitiser and face coverings are added to the checklist of what I need to take to work which all seems very strange. The first morning was like the first day of school- excited/curious and I dare say a little anxious. Had much changed? What kind of things do I need to catch up with? Is there a backlog I need to deal with?


Truth be told, it felt like the world had been on pause for 3 months and I walked in just as everything was before. My workload and inbox had been carefully looked after and a welcoming bunch of flowers on my desk with a ‘Welcome Home’ sign was just the reassurance that I needed as the only member of leadership to have been on furlough that there was nothing to worry about and I immediately felt back where I belonged.

Plans were made for my team to return the following week. I now knew exactly how it felt to be coming back after such an extended break and so a settling and welcoming embedding day for them was planned in.


One way systems, social distancing and hand sanitisers quickly become normality and you find new ways to work and meet with colleagues and customers. Who knew that so many things could be made virtual! Everything from job interviews to centre open days are neither cancelled or postponed but just adapted to the new way of working.

We schedule our teams’ calendars so that we can split into remote and in centre days to try and keep numbers in centre to a minimum, which means we don’t see as much of each other as we used to but I feel extremely lucky to be back as part of the leadership team and the wider USG team, you hear the stories from family and friends and the news and realise not everyone has been so lucky.

2020 has been the year to test us and teach us, but we have returned better and stronger as a team thanks to the leadership, communication, and determination of our General Manager Dan.

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