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Returning to a Full-Time Job after Furlough

by | Aug 9, 2020 | Organization

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I was furloughed at the end of March/early April due to COVID-19. Luckily, I could still keep my health insurance, but I wasn’t allowed to work. And let me tell you, it was so boring! At least before I had to focus on moving to a new state in the middle of a global pandemic. After four long months, I was recalled and returned to work last week. And by return, I mean working 100% remote in a new state. Here are some things I had to re-learn/re-adapt to after I returned to my full-time job after furlough:

Emails

While I did not have access to my email account tied with my company, I was still receiving emails. Once I gained access to my email again, I spent most of Monday morning reading/sorting/deleting FOUR MONTHS worth of emails. I would say about 2-3 dozen were worthwhile, and the rest was junk/no longer relevant.

Software/Programs

There are specific programs I use for the job that I had to make sure I had access to again. This includes our email marketing software, website host, and Google Analytics. Some of the programs I use went through a rebranding/redesign while I was furloughed, so I had to learn some of these programs all over again. I also had some issues with my computer opening up specific programs because my computer had to update four months’ worth of software updates.

Being at a desk itself

I knew I was ready mentally to return to my 9-5 job, but physically, I was not. A week prior, I was in a bicycle accident and fractured my right elbow. While I’m no longer in a splint, I still have a sling and my right arm has limited motions I can do. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours and staring at a screen was not a fun experience on my first day back. I’m right-handed and having my right arm injured was a challenge I was not expecting to happen; it’s hard to type on a keyboard with one arm and move a computer mouse with your left hand. By the end of the first day, I was already annoyed with sitting at a desk and was super fidgety.

Finding a new workspace

Before my boyfriend and I moved to Wisconsin, I was able to return to the office to clean my old desk and take home my stuff. Since I was moving to a new state, it made sense to clean my desk before we moved and free the space for a new employee when it’s safe for my department to return to our main office. I had a desk/hutch that was mostly for display purposes that I converted into my workspace. After I added my laptop and monitor, I realized I was low on counter space to write and keep items directly on my desk. I was able to reprioritize and moved some items to drawers in my desk, but I’m going to look for a side table to add more counter space.

Work From Home #WFH

Before being furloughed, I worked from home for about two weeks, so I never really developed a good rhythm of balancing working from home full time with my home responsibilities. When I was working in an office, I would spend about two hours to commute to work and then back home. Now that I have those two extra hours during the weekday where I would have been driving, what do I use them for? Right after work, I’ve been spending about 30 minutes each day tidying around the house before my boyfriend and I start dinner. I’m trying not to run any appliances during my shift, but some things like feeding the cats or signing for a package can’t wait.

Blogging

As I mentioned before, I started this blog as a project during quarantine to learn more about blogging/SEO and build my digital marketing portfolio. In addition, I picked up some freelance work that will, fortunately, continue post-quarantine. Now that I’m back at a full-time marketing job, I’m seeing how I can implement what I’ve learned from my blog to my job. I know my company’s blog will need to be promoted in the future, and now I feel more comfortable with making SEO changes to help attract organic traffic to our website. I also need to assess my time management when it comes to freelancing and my blog since I’m working a full eight hours again during the day.

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22 Comments

  1. caressa walker

    My biggest thing is adjusting back to having a set schedule! But getting myself in a routine before I return has been helpful.

    Reply
  2. Lizabeth Venie

    What a resourceful kid you are! Hope you’re healing well and liking life in Wisconsin.

    Reply
  3. Ellen

    It’s good to hear that you started blogging as a little quarantine project, I’m glad it’s helped you!

    Reply
  4. Crystal | Sauced and Lost

    I hope you can continue your blog. It’s difficult finding balance between the two but I’m hopeful you’ll be able to do both.

    Reply
  5. Pam

    yay! I am happy that you transitioned back into your job after learning some important strategies from your time off. Personal development right there and I’m sure you job will reward you! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    Reply
  6. idara_Joy

    I agree with you, when I asked my staff to resume working from the office the needed a lot of time to re-adjust to the process and adjust to the new safety protocols.

    Reply
  7. Puja

    I can completely relate here. I have also started my blog during this lockdown period. From next month, I’ll be back to 9-5 job.

    Reply
  8. Savannah Rose

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on returning to work after furlough!

    Reply
  9. Beth Elkassih

    I hope indeed you continue your blog. You write very well and have great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Maria Black

    Really interesting insights! It’s like we’re all returning to a whole new world in some ways. I hope you adjust quickly and find your rhythm!

    Reply
  11. Windy

    Although I wasn’t furloughed I am now on a hybrid schedule and it’s such an adjustment. When I went back to the office for the first time I felt like I was the new girl all over. Hope your arm heals soon

    Reply
  12. Shar

    Yes, the lockdown has changed a lot in peoples’ lives! I have been working from home for years already, and so glad about that.

    Reply
  13. Courtney

    Although I haven’t had to work from home yet, I hope to be working for myself someday so these are all great things to think about!

    Reply
  14. Poovanesh Pather

    I’ve been blogging from home for 2 years now. It’s a challenge to stay focussed. You seem to have a very organized mindset so in time you will grow to enjoy working from home. It’s freeing not to be tied to a desk job that needs a long commute as well. I wish you much success.

    Reply
  15. Sarah

    Enjoy being back at work! Although I wasn’t furloughed, I’ve been working from home for over four months now so I think going back to the daily commute and sitting in an office all day will still be a struggle.

    Hope your elbow recovers swiftly!

    Reply
  16. EmyD

    I’m totally feeling you girl as my schedule starts to change. You got this, queen!

    Reply
  17. Live2byou

    This year has been one of a kind with all the adjustments needed and how flexible and creative we had and still have to be. Congratulations on going back to work!

    Reply
  18. Lauren

    I’m so sorry about your elbow! It must be an added challenge to all this adjustment!

    Reply
  19. Monica

    It’s been a tough year, and so many changes had a great impact on our meantal health. I also startea a blog during quarantine to help me stay focused. Congrats on going back to work!

    Reply
  20. ASHLEE

    Congrats on being able to get back to work but I can imagine that it is an adjustment. Good for you for sharing your thoughts because there are some things I hadn’t thought of. Great post!

    Reply
  21. Nishtha

    Congratulations on your job! Although I understand it may have been difficulty moving to a new job in a new place, I am glad you are at work and adjusting well! This year has been crazy, thank you for sharing your story

    Reply
  22. JoJo Hall

    Great post! It is quite an adjustment going back to work months later but I know you got this!

    Reply

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Jenn & Tonic

Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.