• Jenn Kalchik

Returning to a Full-Time Job after Furlough

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

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:


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.


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.


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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