Thoughts on Furlough

By Joe Reddington, COO

I’m currently furloughed. I was completely furloughed for most of the pandemic and I’m now part-furloughed since that became part of the scheme. I work a limited number of hours a week. I also keep being asked how I feel about it, so I ‘ve put my thoughts together here.


It is, absolutely, the best thing for the charity. It’s also the best thing for my young family – I’ve seen more of my baby son than I would have otherwise.


It’s still frustrating. My work gave let me help people, experiment, be inventive and being honest, let me hear appluse. I miss those things.

The hours are limited so that I only manage the overhead needed to keep the charity alive and conforming to regulations. So I spend my time putting the accounts in order, keeping on top of emails. That means that I’m only doing the bits of the job that I dislike rather than the ones I love.

There’s an sense of pressure: because of the limited hours you have a real pressure to make those hours count, so I’m being a lot more risk adverse on things like networking.

Also – those hours are difficult to find in a pandemic. Because the question stops being ‘how am I going to do the work this week?’ and becomes ‘Where am I going to find eight hours of real quality time where I can totally focus?’ – for example I wrote the draft of this post at 4.47am on a Saturday because the answer turns out to be ‘before the children wake up’.

It remains the right thing to do, and I remain very lucky that I have the option, but I think that everybody who is furloughed should think carefully about what they might be missing.

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