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No meditation please – we’re tech workers

Two-fifths (40 per cent) of furloughed tech professionals are anxious about their return to work, according to recruiter Randstad.
A poll of almost 8,000 workers from across the UK highlighted the relationship between post-furlough anxiety and the failure to offer best practice HR. Only 28 per cent of those tech professionals who had returned and classified their onboarding experience as “good” or “very good” were anxious, similar to the rates across the UK (32 per cent). In contrast, of those tech professionals who had an onboarding experience they regarded as either “poor”, “very poor” or had no onboarding, 55 per cent were anxious on their return to work.
Adrian Smith, senior director of operations at Randstad UK said: “Normally the onboarding process would be reserved for introducing newly hired employees into an organisation. But these aren’t normal times and tech workers who have been furloughed for a year will benefit from some help integrating back into the wider organisation. It might be arduous for some teams who are spread pretty thin at the moment but while standard onboarding might be expected to last for a couple of weeks to be effective, post-furlough onboarding is much shorter. Done properly, it will help employees feel more confident and competent when they get back on the job. It’s about investing the time to protect well-being and to ensure a productive returning workforce.”

Some industries are diligently onboarding furloughed staff returning to work – while others have failed to embrace it. Just over a quarter of furloughed tech employees (27 per cent) receive either no (or very poor) onboarding on their return to work. The best performing sector was Rail – where only 17 per cent said they had no or very poor on boarding.
Adrian Smith said: “It’s worrying that such a high proportion of employees in tech aren’t getting the onboarding attention they deserve. I thought we’d kicked the days of sub-standard HR in the tech sector into the long grass.”

Randstad asked tech professionals what would improve their wellbeing. The most popular solution chosen by employees was training about mental health and resilience – with 67 per cent favouring this option. While stress reduction workshops were also popular (58 per cent favoured these), less popular were the appointment of a workplace wellbeing champion (54 per cent) and mindfulness training (53 per cent).
While employers might be tempted to roll out the yoga mats to improve employee wellbeing, only 44 per cent of those tech professionals polled wanted meditation sessions – the least popular possible solution. When asked, “Would you be interested in having access to mediation sessions?”, 50 per cent of tech workers said they weren’t interested.
Adrian Smith said: “I think the tech industry has reached peak yoga mat.”