Whilst there can be little doubt Furlough has helped many businesses and individuals during these difficult times, the question is, is it healthy?
I’m not so sure, and judging by recent comments from Rishi Sunak, neither is the Chancellor.
20% more money, but doing all of the work. That’s the reality for those within the industry that are not currently on furlough versus those confined to barracks.
Seven weeks into lockdown and some agents are dealing with a growing number of enquiries, doing the work and taking the responsibility for their furloughed colleagues, who through no fault of their own, are living another groundhog-day of TV box-sets.
But let’s spare a minute to think about those on furlough, does the reality live up to the hype?
Is their reality ‘why me’? Am I not valued member of the team? Will the company want me back? Do I even have a job to go back to?
So, will a two-tier dynamic created by furlough breed some resentment if not ended soon?
Will the mood of branch offices quickly recover or be permanently consigned to an atmosphere that knives could cut?
A prerequisite of furlough is that you must keep your people away from all work.
And, as any £1000 a day business psychologist will tell you, if you do something for 66 days straight it becomes a habit, and that in itself then proves hard to snap out of.
Will those who were furloughed return alienated and detached whilst their colleagues heroically kept the wheels of business turning?
Thankfully, Sunday heralds the proposed announcement by Boris Johnson that will be our ‘wake up and smell the coffee moment’ for agents across the country, as he unfurls his plan to get us back into the old world of public interaction, albeit masked, gloved and socially distanced.
So, the dilemma is…. do we further risk the health to company culture if lockdown continues past May? Or should we unlock early and get on with business?
Which camp are you in, stay locked or un-lock?
Josh Rayner is founder and head of Rayner Personnel.