According to the survey, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of KnowBe4, almost a third of respondents (28%) feel less loyal to their employer post-furlough. Of these individuals, 70 per cent conceded to either not feeling supported by their employer, receiving little to no information or guidance prior to returning to work and/or did not receive regular communications from them.
Upon returning to work, a third (33%) of respondents experienced feelings of stress and anxiety. Equally, a third (33%) admitted to feeling happy and excited. Remarkably, 40 per cent of respondents within the Education industry mostly felt stressed/anxious when resuming with work, as opposed to just under a quarter (24%) of respondents in the Travel and Transport industry. Of those feeling stressed/anxious, over half (57%) did not feel supported by their employer, received little to no information or guidance and/or were not in regular communication with them. Conversely, nearly half (49%) of those who expressed happiness/excitement claimed to feel supported by their employer. This is closely followed by 43 per cent who received regular communications, and 35% who received ample information and guidance.
Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4 said, “there is no doubt that there are a myriad of factors that will influence how employees feel when they go back to work. Nevertheless, how employers respond can be instrumental in alleviating feelings of stress and help in cultivating a happier and more loyal workforce.
“This is an important consideration, not solely for the general well-being of employees or an organisation’s overall performance, but for their security, too. If loyalties towards an organisation begins to diminish, the business faces a greater risk of falling victim to an insider threat; malicious or otherwise. The employee may neglect to keep their corporate devices and passwords secure as they lose their sense of responsibility, for example, or they may just outright take company data to a competitor.”
In general, over a third of the UK’s returning workforce did receive regular communications from their employer (35%), a third (33%) felt supported during the furlough period, 28 per cent felt they were offered ample information and guidance and over a fifth (21%) agreed they had been given the time and space needed to get back into work.
Additionally, the study found that while on furlough, 34 per cent of respondents felt pressure either from their employer, colleagues, their clients or themselves to continue working during furlough. Of those who continued to work, 29 per cent worked both at home and from the office and 11 per cent worked in the office exclusively.
Other key findings include:
- 1 in 16 (6%) respondents mostly felt alienated or excluded from work colleagues when they returned to work after furlough.
- Almost 2 in 5 (38%) respondents in the Finance industry sector feel less loyal to their employer after the furlough period, compared to just under a fifth (19%) of respondents in the Education industry sector who said the same.
- A quarter (25%) of respondents felt more loyal to their employer after the furlough period.
- Over 3 in 5 (44%) respondents feel the same amount of loyalty to their employer after the furlough period.
The Censuswide study was conducted in November 2020 with 1,000 UK employees who had been put on furlough at some point during the pandemic.