How can firms get full-time productivity from part-time resource?

Business Insights

Furlough scheme to allow workers to return part-time from July 1

Chris Biggs, MD of Theta Financial Reporting, discusses the best way for businesses to take advantage of the scheme to get back to normal

The Government's Job Retention Scheme - known commonly as furlough - is currently helping to pay the wages of 8.4 million workers across the UK. But as Rishi Sunak unveils the first stages to phasing this scheme out, many business leaders will be wondering what the best course of action will be to return to normal.

It has been announced that furloughed workers will be able to return to work on a part-time basis from July 1, with the Scheme paying workers for their remaining hours. It is hoped that this step will help ease the burden on businesses when they have to start making contributions as of August 1.

Chris Biggs, Managing Director of Theta Financial Reporting, advises business leaders on how best to make use of the scheme to increase productivity.

"The Furlough scheme has allowed a myriad of businesses to retain talent and workers over a difficult period but now comes the challenge of making sure that the scheme was not simply delaying inevitable redundancies. Bringing members of the team back into the work environment and ensuring their productivity will be key to this."

Bring back entrepreneurs

When hiring, I specifically look for entrepreneurial spirit. This means they are highly adaptable, creative and willing to look at challenges as opportunities. During crisis times, these people can be invaluable, so look for the entrepreneurial talent you have in your team.

Think flexible

Working from home is for many, now the new norm. It may take time for furloughed workers to get used to this but it is an important step. Understanding that thousands of parents are trying to juggle their career with childcare, and many members of our team will get back to emails late at night will be important. Ensure that you have the bandwidth to cater for this and manage your clients' expectations accordingly. Keeping transparency in your team will help businesses see the other side of this crisis.

Trust your team

The first thing to do when building a team is to employ people you can trust and then trust them - after all, that’s why you hired them! It may feel natural to micro-manage a dispersed team but cannot and should not try to - its demotivating for everyone and won't give the team the chance to stretch, learn and grow. Trust them to do the right thing and encourage them to make decisions. This will help them reach their productivity potential, meaning that the hours you are paying for are worth the cost.

Focus on team culture

Building team spirit back up can be difficult in these times but it's important to make sure that those returning are motivated. While we can't physically meet up yet, keep in contact with your team members, organise work quizzes, social video drinks or a working lunch. It will help to relieve stress and relax you and your team. End of week socials are a great thing to look forward to and can help you forget the stresses and strains of the working week."