How it feels to be Furloughed

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

One of our core values at Pro-development is Honesty and we would like to share an honest account of how being furloughed feels for a member of the Pro-Development Team. Our intention is to provide some insight for employers of furloughed people for consideration. Of course, everyone is different, and we have all been affected in different ways! Anyway, here goes in the spirit of openness…….

“It’s a strange feeling, I feel anger and helplessness at the situation, not at the business. I feel a bit useless to society, not being an essential/key worker, which has made me question my purpose! I am frustrated that I can’t help when ‘working’ colleagues are overloaded, and this makes me feel guilty. Going for a daytime walk during working hours makes me feel guilty, sitting in the sunshine makes me feel guilty. I am worried about how to pay the bills on reduced pay, particularly as my partner has been affected financially too! I am also a bit concerned for the future as I see my savings safety net depleted month on month (thank goodness I had it).   I feel incensed when I hear people say “they (the furloughed) are loving it, it is just a long holiday”.  Sitting with anxiety, fear, worry, guilt and frustration is certainly not my idea of a holiday. I feel selfish feeling what I am feeling when others are suffering such pain and loss.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. I feel lucky to have this time with the family, I am grateful that those who I know and care for have their health, I feel blessed with the weather. I have been blown away by acts of kindness from friends and family.  Chatting with the team daily through the ‘keeping in touch’ sessions has helped too, its always lovely to see a friendly face, have a bit of a laugh and regain a bit of perspective”.

Strange times indeed!”

We hope this provided insight, but the truth is, you will not know how your team are feeling unless you ask them. It’s so important right now to keep in touch with the team.

Here’s our challenge to you.

  • Keep in regular contact with your furloughed team members and engage in honest dialogue with them
  • Ensure your managers are doing the same – this might not come naturally to all so provide support for your managers if they need it?

If you would like any support around engaging with furloughed workers, or having quality conversations with any of the team contact us at

Our thanks go to our team member for being so open at our ‘keeping in touch’ sessions and for giving their permission to share this with you.

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