6 ideas for those furloughed or free of work

Posted on 30 Mar, 2020

Furloughed or free of work? Here are 6 constructive things to do with your spare time, alongside the official advice on how to keep our society safe.

In a very short space of time we have learnt what the term ‘furlough’ means and many property professionals may find themselves in this position over the coming weeks. Likewise, Viewbers will be unable to attend appointments until restrictions are lifted, potentially freeing up spare time.

Although those in furlough are not allowed to work for their current employer, they are free to take on other paid positions - with permission and if their contract allows. Those in the gig economy are also free to seek alternative employment or pursue other activities.

If you find yourself with a gap to fill and would like to make a positive contribution to society, boost your income or improve your skills, you may like to consider the following:-

1. Become an NHS Volunteer Responder – over 400,000 people have already registered to volunteer by visiting the GoodSAM Responder app but more are needed. There are at-home and in-community roles to fill, which will take the pressure off our NHS system.

2. Apply for a supermarket role – many of the leading supermarkets – and their suppliers - are looking to boost their teams, with temporary, shift and part-time roles giving applicant a short-term income. You can apply directly to each supermarket or this BBC article lists out where vacancies are, including many outside of the food chain.

3. Join a local volunteering group – many tasks, such as checking on the vulnerable and isolated or collecting prescriptions - have been devolved to a local level. Check social media for groups that have been set up where you live – they will welcome any help, even if you only have a couple of hours to spare or can give advice.

4. Take a temporary fresh-air job - The Country Land and Business Association claim farmers will be short of around 80,000 migrant workers due to the curtailment of international travel, so are calling on locals to form a ‘land army’ to pick, grade and pack UK-grown produce. Look out for adverts in newspapers and across social media with the slogan ‘Feed Our Nation’.

5. Blog, podcast or offer your skills for free via social media – the internet has become our lifeline and one of the most heartwarming aspects is people offering their skills for free. From musicians and art teachers to chefs and sports coaches, those who can offer advice by email, video and ‘live stream’ will help keep our nation active and engaged.

6. Start an online training course – keep your skills topped up or learn something new without leaving the comfort of your home. Dualingo is a free way to learn a new language, while Alison offers a well-reviewed Beginners’ Guide to Digital Photography learning course – the latter is great for Viewbers looking to take better property photos.

Don’t forget – always follow the Government’s official advice

- Do not leave your home for anything unnecessary or to meet with people outside of your family unit, where possible

- Do not take on any volunteering roles outside of the home if you feel unwell or are in isolation

- If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough) and you live alone, self isolate for 7 days

- If more than one person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms

- Always observe the Government’s social distancing rules - stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people

- Wash your hands on a regular basis, following this NHS hand washing advice

- Familiarise yourself with this key worker list so you know whether you qualify for a school place


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