5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
Contact us
Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

Do you have FORTO fear of returning to the office


Do you have ‘FORTO’ – fear of returning to the office?


Apparently, many of us do.


A survey of 2000 UK office workers commissioned by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) in March this year revealed 31% felt their employer was pressuring them to return leading to feelings of anxiety and stress.


IWFM’s ‘Returning to work’ research provides key insights into the thoughts, experiences, attitudes and concerns of the UK’s office workers as employers seek to establish new ways of working and wider adoption of hybrid working post-COVID-19.


Key takeaways from IWFM’s

‘Returning to the workplace’ research: –


  • The majority of UK employees expect a move to hybrid working
  • The vast majority of employees will expect a level of ‘hybrid’ working in the future – with nearly half (44%) of the workforce planning to work from the office for 3 days or fewer a week.
  • 63% of employees now believe the office to be unnecessary – a rise of a fifth since the first lockdown (51%).
  • The demand for hybrid working is particularly strong for younger staff, with two-thirds (66%) of 18-24-year-olds admitting that not being offered flexible work patterns would cause them to look for a new job.
  • More than a third (38%) of this demographic felt their employer is pressuring them to return to the office – risking losing new talent.


As Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight at the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management comments: ‘More than a year on, we continue to see employers striving to strike the right balance between remote and office working. The benefits of the office have not been forgotten, yet we continue to become accustomed and comfortable with our home working routines.


‘The truth is home versus office working should not be viewed as a binary choice between focus and connection. A true commitment to ‘hybrid working’ will give employees and employers flexibility to work in a way that is best suited to them – allowing them to reap the productivity and social benefits of both home and office working environments, how and when it best suits their needs. Employers should now make every effort to provide staff with genuine choice to perform their role wherever they feel their performance would be best supported – adapting the office space, incentives and policies to reflect the changing nature of the workspace environment.’


Over three-quarters (79%) of 18-24-year-olds believe that they will be equally as productive or more productive working from home.

This demographic is also working the most unpaid overtime from home – on average 11.6 extra hours a week – and has invested on average nearly £300 in creating a suitable working environment at home.


From speaking to all levels of accountancy and finance professionals our team has experienced most finance workers say that COVID has illustrated that most of their role can be effectively performed working from home. Finance Directors, CFOs, and Heads of Finance have said time and again that thanks to the implementation of additional technology and ‘smart working’ practices, their view is hybrid working – a blend of wfh and in the office – is here to stay.


Our view is that employers need to be flexible according to the sector of work employees are engaged in. Certain sectors – Sales, Creative/ Media, and others – need the face to face collaboration to bounce ideas off each other. Other sectors are able to be totally independent of the office environment, but for training and mental health reasons, a flexible approach is key.

Not so much cause for fear of returning to the office, more an opportunity for increased staff engagement and for managers to implement a great blend of flexibility that addresses individual’s needs and allow for continued business success.







How to start a new job remotely and prepare to re-instate your staff back to work. Astute tips from Astute Recruitment LtdHow to settle into a new job &  prepare to return to the office… They aren’t that different!


Settling into a new job in lockdown – and preparing for a return to the office are not that different. We help highlight tips on transitioning employees back to the office, or wfh after furlough.


Cast your mind back 12 months. The first lockdown meant businesses, and employees were in survival mode. Most employers relied on the Government’s furlough scheme to remain in business, and keep their talented teams together with little or no revenue. But, as things began to settle down, companies pivoted, adapted, and improvised creating new ways to operate.


Hiring slowly returned.


Now, as we look ahead with optimism returning to the recruitment sector we’ve seen increasing demand for accountancy professionals at all levels. From transactional to qualified and part qualified accountants, Finance Analysts, Management Accountants, finance business partners, and more.


The Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD revealed overt half (56%) of employers  planned to recruit in Q1 2021. We’ve certainly been busy.


With recruitment appetites returning, successful candidates have been faced with the challenge of starting a new job whilst in lockdown. How have they coped?


Starting a new job remotely via Ms Teams, Zoom or other.

Starting a new job is a daunting prospect at the best of times, but being removed from the usual office workplace has made it an almost surreal experience.


Jessica Doyle who joined The Irish Times digital team during the first lockdown said this of the strange situation:  “The funny thing about starting a new job remotely during the coronavirus pandemic is that all the usual social rigmarole of the occasion goes out the window.


“Everything you learn about making a good first impression – give a firm handshake, introduce yourself to everyone, make eye-contact – means nothing as you’re reduced to a disembodied head on a screen.”


The connectivity provided by online platforms including Zoom and Microsoft Teams has been a critical tool working from home, but nothing totally replicates face to face human interaction when you are trying to integrate in a new environment.


In Lockdown 1.0, the Zoom craze was a catch-all, adopted by all with huge enthusiasm.


Companies held online events. Quiz nights and virtual drinks became routine.


However, as time dragged on, ‘Zoom fatigue’ set in, with online socialising becoming rarer.


Now as we near the end of lockdown 3.0, many are admitting It has become harder to make connections in this latest lockdown.


Think of a pre-covid first day in a new job. At your new office, you would be bombarded with new information, meeting too many people all at once.


Usually you get a bit of time at your new desk to chat to your new office colleague(s), or accept an invitation to join them at lunchtime and bond.


This is the biggest challenge for new starters, to gain sense of belonging without spontaneous office chit-chat – the so-called ‘water cooler’ moments.


Instead, faced with a screen full of strangers, it’s harder to build personal relationships. Virtual conversations can be stilted & open to misinterpretation. In bigger groups, the louder characters tend to dominate virtual group discussions.


One saving grace of Zoom is that, at least, you can see everyone’s names at the bottom of their screens, avoiding first-day embarrassment of forgetting your new colleagues’ names! 🤣🤣


It is understandable to feel a bit of an outsider without physically meeting colleagues. You could easily assume everyone knows each other well (often incorrectly) and that you are on the fringes. An office or workplace is a social environment. Taking the social aspect away, can create feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Add to this the nagging worry about whether you are making a good impression. Away from an environment of instant feedback, how can know how you are doing?


Stanford University Professor Nicholas Bloom states how new staff struggle with unspoken rules: – from, ‘How many hours do people really work?” to, “When is it acceptable to take a break”, and “What do I wear on my first day?”.


Bloom raises the issue of ‘over-communication’. Where a new recruit will endlessly send unnecessary emails and Slack or WhatsApp messages just to highlight the fact that they’re still there.


Its never been so vital to have an onboarding plan, AND a ‘reset’ for existing staff returning to the office.


As it is so much more difficult for new employees to integrate, it is incumbent on the manager or business owner to implement an effective onboarding process. Extra thought needs to go into integration of new starters. From installing company ethics and ways of working, as well as the specific requirements of the job role.


Global management consultants, ‘The Boston Consulting Group’, calculates that companies that have effective onboarding processes in place achieve 2.5 times more revenue growth AND 1.9 times the profit margin as opposed to organisations with poor onboarding strategies.


Employee onboarding is a series of activities which educate new hires how to get to know their team and learn about the company’s attitudes, methods, rituals, and tools. For a new employee it’s an opportunity to get used to a unknown environment.


Onboarding can consist of formal training, workshops, and video calls, as well as shadowing people on the team and organised introductions. It can be a long, immersive process that lasts several months after initial induction sessions.


While a line manager may be the direct source of onboarding, the process should include meeting colleagues, by arranging video calls or assigning a ‘buddy’ to the new hire to provide vital support in those initial months.


A new starter should expect a proper and friendly introduction to the new company, but sometimes the new employee may need to reach out for help. In such a case, it is certainly worth asking a manager for introductions with other team members.


You should never be left alone to your own devices when starting a new job. If you are, then perhaps this isn’t the firm that deserves your services.


Preparing for the big return.


If all goes well, virtually all restrictions will come to an end by 21st June, and the big work from home experiment will come to an end. Although many people will continue to wfh, some of the time, most will return to the office in some capacity.


It may come as quite a shock.


While some people are counting down the days to freedom, others will be looking at the return with trepidation. Many of us have become quite reclusive during the lockdowns, and the social skills we used to take for granted can quickly become rusty.


Kelly Feehan, services director at wellbeing charity CABA, says, “Returning to the workplace after such a long period of time working from home will be tough for the majority of us. But for the people who started a new job during lockdown, and the working from home period that followed, it’s bound to be an even more daunting experience.”


In many ways, it will be like going through that awkward first day all over again. The only consolation is that everyone will be in the same boat.


Feehan says, “It’s hard to get a true sense of an organisation’s workplace culture when you’re working remotely, so you’ll want to spend some time reading the room and observing the different dynamics between your team members.”


The good news is that we pick up new habits and routines very quickly. Although we have become used to our own company, we are social animals by nature.


So, let’s celebrate! 👏👏👏 It’s nearly time to rejoin the human race and get back to near mormal!

Just make sure your existing staff and any new employees understand your expectations, and can access any help or support they may need.


Mary Maguire is one of the owners of accountancy specialist Astute Recruitment Ltd.


If you would like to see our company updates and industry insights, follow our LinkedIn page : – LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/


Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911

How to start a new job remotely and prepare to re-instate your staff back to work. Astute tips from Astute Recruitment Ltd

Read Astute Recruitment Ltds latest updates on staffing trends, business and employmentAs the weather heats up, will it be a bumper summer for business? The forecast looks good! 🌞

In 1976, like now, some boys hair was as long as girls, if not longer. 🤣🤣👭 Fashions were tank tops, and of course, flares! On the airwaves, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Bay City Rollers, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, the Bee Gees, and more. 🎶


But, it wasn’t the clothes we wore, or the music we listened to that made 1976 stand out. It was the incredible heatwave!


Like this year, April 2020 was one of the sunniest Aprils on record, and 2020 ended up being one of the driest springs on record too. Thats what happened in 1975, the year before we enjoyed one of the greatest, long, hot summers in the UK.


Our economy seems to be heating up too! Below we share the latest key statistics from respected organisations on staffing trends, employment and business confidence.


After the turmoil of 2020, 38% of firms surveyed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said their outlook on the business situation had improved in the past three months.


This is the first positive reading since January 2020, before the pandemic shut down much of the UK economy and the highest since April 1973.


Factories are also stepping up hiring, with the measure of firms looking to grow their workforce over coming months at the highest since 1974.


The survey’s results also found that while manufacturing output was broadly flat in the past three months, orders for new work are picking up and investment plans are being accelerated to take advantage of a “super-deduction” tax break announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget.


The release of the IHS/Markit purchasing managers’ index came after official data showed strong growth in retail sales in March when most of the lockdown restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic were still in force.


Overall PMI rose from 56.4 in March to 60.0 in April, well above the 50 cut-off level that shows whether the economy is growing or contracting. Service sector business activity rose from 56.3 to 60.1, while manufacturing output was up from 56.6 to 59.1.


Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said it was the strongest showing in the 23-year history of the PMI other than a four-month period between August and November 2013.


Companies are reporting a surge in demand for both goods and services as the economy ‘unlocks’ and the encouraging vaccine rollout adds to a brighter outlook,” Williamson said.


“Business activity should continue to grow strongly in May and June as virus restrictions are eased further, setting the scene for a bumper second quarter for the economy.”


In more good news for business, The Office for National Statistics said that in March 2021 – a month in which there was only a modest relaxation of the curbs imposed across the UK to stop the spread of Covid-19 – retail sales rose by 5.4% – well above the 1.5% predicted by City economists, with sales in March 1.6% higher than they were before the pandemic began to have an impact on the economy in February 2020.


In good news for the high street and businesses with fixed premises, rather than just online revenue streams, the ONS said the proportion spent online decreased to 34.7% in March 2021, down from 36.2% in February 2021, still above the 23.1% reported in March 2020, the month when lockdown restrictions were imposed for the first time.


And what of jobs and employment trends? 


New data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), stated that business confidence in their ability to hire new staff continued to improve in the three months to February 2021.


Employer confidence in hiring rose to a net level of +16 in December-February 2021, six percentage points higher than in the three months to January. In February alone, this surged to net: +29, as the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown was announced and firms could start putting their re-opening plans into gear.


Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, had this to say:

“Recruiters report that this latest lockdown has been much less damaging than many feared back in January. The relative health of the economy and the jobs market is now being reported by business surveys, official figures and our own data. Our figures show that hiring companies are confident about bringing people into their businesses now, and that has to be good news for all of us.”


Employers are still being cautious, reflected in employers leaning more on interim and temporary staff.


Interim workers remain a great way for people to find work quickly and for firms to hire when the outlook is not certain.


Key statistics: – 


  • Hiring intentions for temporary agency workers rose by eight points to net: +14.


  • Employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff in the short term fell by five points, but remained high at net: +19.


  • Employers’ intentions to hire staff in the medium term (over the coming 4-12 months) increased in December-February 2021, rising to net: +30 for permanent staff and net: +15 for agency workers.




So, the weather for business looks set fair, and the forecast for Summer 2021 and the rest of this year, looks very encouraging!


Could it be a record-breaker? We’ll just have to wait and see.

A bit of fun for those too young to remember the summer of 1976, here are some reminders.


  • 1976 was the hottest, sunniest and driest summer people had seen up to that date. The government panicked about low water levels in April and May, and hosepipe bans combined with water restrictions were introduced. People were told to water their gardens with used bath water. I remember families including mine, collecting water from standpipes in their streets.


  • A minister for drought (Denis Howell) was appointed, promptly telling all to cut water consumption by half, or face water rationing until December! He also told people to pour washing up water into toilets instead of flushing.


  • Water companies issued a total of 139 drought orders.


  • Hospital admissions soared with many people suffering from sunstroke, heart attacks and a higher incidence of asthma.


  •  The M1 and other motorways had problems with tarmac melting.


  • Large areas of woodlands and heath turned brown, and were sadly devastated by fires which in some cases had to be left to burn because of the water shortage.


  • The high temperatures continued through August with many parts of England exceeding 330 hours of sunshine and highs of 25-30c on many days. 🌞😎


Then the heatwave finally ended.


The last week in August saw the beginning of the end of the heatwave, with spectacular thunderstorms.


That historic heatwave was followed by an exceptionally wet autumn, with some places recording over 200% of their normal rainfall. Heavy storms and torrential rain continued on many days through to October, ending one of the worst droughts on record.

Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911

E:  [email protected]

W: www.astuterecruitment.com

LI:  https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mary-maguire/18/73/553

LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/Read Astute Recruitment Ltds latest updates on staffing trends, business and employment

Astute tips on the Extended Furlough scheme for employers and employees
Astute tips on the Extended Furlough scheme



So, as we find ourselves in another Lockdown, what is the advice for employers and their employees on this adaptation of the Government’s original Furlough Scheme? Here, we try and break these down and provide some useful links for more detailed advice and webinars.


HMRC have published full revised guidance about the extended Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme – i.e. the Furlough Scheme. This has now been extended to March 31st 2021.


The key changes for furlough claim periods from November and beyond are as follows: –


  • The UK Government are currently reviewing if employers could be eligible to claim for their employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after December 1st. Further guidance is to be published at the end of November. As things stand, employers may claim the grant for notice periods.


  • In the cases of Employers claiming for an employee for the period from November 1st retrospectively, only backdated written agreements put in place up to and including November 13th may be relied upon for the purposes of a claim. In simple terms, this means employers should ensure written furlough agreements are in place by November 13th if they are wanting to claim the grant retrospectively from November 1st.


  • After December 2020, the names of employers who claim under the Furlough Scheme for the month of December onwards and, for employers that are registered Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships, both the company name and registration number will be published by HMRC, so that this information will be in the public domain.


  • Should an employee decide to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed, they must give their employer at least eight weeks’ notice of their return to work and the employer will not be able to furlough them until the end of the eight weeks.



  • Top Accountancy firm, Dains, have compiled a number of useful HMRC advice and areas for businesses to focus on including: –

·         Time to Pay – HMRC

·         Raising finance

·         COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme

·         COVID-19 Bounce Back Loan Scheme

·         COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme – A Practical Guide (Check out our Top Tips)

·         COVID-19 Job Retention Bonus

·         COVID-19 The Self Employment Income Support Scheme

·         Financial forecasting

·         Grant applications, loans and funding

·         Cash management and profit improvement


Have a look at Deloitte’s upcoming webinars on COVID-19: – 


  • 3 December 2020
    The COVID-19 webinar: health, economics, business

The COVID-19 webinar: health, economics, and business


  • 17 December 2020
    The COVID-19 webinar: health, economics, business#

  • For the latest Government advice and support: –

Click on this link for help and support if your business is affected by COVID-19 from the Government’s website

To keep up to date with the latest developments on COVID-19, advice to employers, businesses, and employees, please follow our company page on LinkedIn HERE.

You can also follow us on FaceBook HERE

On Twitter by following astute_recruit

& Instagram HERE




Astute Recruitment Ltd share our top 10 tips for managing stress and anxiety
Astute Recruitment Ltd share our top 10 tips for managing stress and anxiety


As England heads into a second national lockdown, we provide some tips for working from home during this stressful time, and hope this helps those feeling anxious, worried or struggling generally.


Stress Awareness Day, falls today, 4th November 2020. It was created by the Founder of International Stress Management Association (ISMA) Carole Spiers in 1998.


Carole is speaking at an online Stress and Wellbeing Summit, covering stress management, workplace wellbeing and how to develop resilience during unprecedented times, as a result of the pandemic.


In this ‘new normal’, companies, and their staff face massive challenges with millions of people once again asked to work from home – some for the first time in their lives.


Carole Spiers said, “With over half of adults reporting that their mental health worsened during the first lockdown (MIND Survey, June 2020), it’s more important than ever to get wellbeing working for home-workers.”


We are sharing ISMA’s 10 tips on working from home productively with a few extra pointers we all learned at Astute Recruitment in the last lockdown: –


1/ Dress as though you are going to work.

Finding a daily routine is proven to help anxiety and stress. Find a place that is exclusively yours during working hours. Get dressed every morning, at the same time. Don’t stay in pyjamas and slippers every day. If you need to make or attend video calls, you need to be dressed for the camera.


2/ Be open to adapting to change

People are creatures of habit and often do not like changes to our daily routines. Now we find ourselves in the current changing situation, we must be able to adapt, be open to adapt and get used to change quickly. Try and think positively about ways you can use your time in isolation most productively.


3/ Try exercising and eating healthily

Every day build some time for exercise. This can just be a short stroll or an online fitness class. Diarise this. Make this something to break up your day and change your focus away from ‘work’. Be aware of what you are eating and try and eat more healthily. You can pre-plan your meals and get creative with your cooking if some food items aren’t easily available.

Stock up on some staples that you can mix and match to knock something together easily. Don’t forget that frozen vegetables retain their goodness and vitamins much longer than freshly bought items.


4/ Using IT to keep in touch

When you are used to working with others, it is not easy being by yourself. Make full use of video/ online meetings, video calls and phone apps to stay in touch with colleagues and others in your circle. At Astute in the last lockdown, our team whether furloughed or not, said that their highlight of the day during lockdown was our daily zoom meeting. It wasn’t about work, it was about talking and seeing each other and really helped everyone. Whether working from home or not, to have a daily time to look forward to catching up with friends at work, (albeit in their homes!) can provide a real highlight to your day and ‘lift’ your spirits.


5/ Make it easier to work with family at home

Having to work with small children, older kids, and partners/ husbands/ extended family at home doesn’t help you to concentrate. But what can you do?  If you have a partner, share the load. If you live alone with children, get them occupied with an activity before you start to work. Build a routine, a day plan that the kids can get used to, and share this in the kitchen on a wallchart or whiteboard. If everyone understands when ‘Mummy or Daddy’ needs to be working – it is easier to have that time alone.


6/ Plan work in blocks of time

Normal office hours between – 9 – 5 might not work in Lockdown and working from home. If you have children, you may choose to work in the evening as well, or very first thing before the kids get up and get a couple of hours admin out of the way.  There is nothing wrong with this and this helped a number of our team with kids or partners, to manage their day, give them structure and help them be really productive.

It is essential to build in breaks where you can step away from your bedroom/ kitchen table or if you are very lucky – your home office 😊 Set your alarm on your mobile so that you have regular meal times and just even 5-minute breaks to go and make a cuppa. With no usual office banter or typical office distractions, it can be all too easy to zone out and suddenly realise hours have gone by and you haven’t eaten anything!

Make sure you take regular breaks and set yourself goals during the day.


7/ Keep in touch with friends!

It can be really lonely working from home. With no distractions from your friends in the office as usual, think of someone you can ‘buddy’ up with. We are all social creatures and thrive with social interactions. Having a ‘buddy’ to share experiences with and give each other support/ advice – is a brilliant idea and so good for your wellbeing (and sanity!). It can often give you a real lift. Get imaginative and have a ‘Friday drink’ at 4pm/ 5pm – or later in the evening – share a glass of wine, online!


8/ Get the balance right

There is no ‘one size fits all’ and recognising this is absolutely key.

What works for you does not necessarily work for someone else!  Use trial and error until you find the right balance and don’t feel bad about getting it wrong a few times! Kids/ pets/ partners and life in general will still throw some curve balls.

If you do find certain things work – share your successes with friends and co-workers. You may just have the key to unlock some of their problems!

Talk to people used to working alone from the last lockdown. There may also be people you know who are used to working from home anyway. Contact them and ask what tips and ideas they can share. They will be glad to share if they know it will help you/ someone else!


9/ Have clear boundaries between ‘home/ family life’ and ‘work-life’

Every day, At the end of your ‘work’ day, switch off your computer. Tidy your desk and close the door.

This routine will become a daily habit and help with balancing your work time and home life.

Just as you would in a normal working week- you need to have clear boundaries between work time and home time.


10/ Get a good night’s sleep!

Worry and anxiety can often be a barrier to getting to sleep and having quality sleep.

The answer? Plan your bedtime. Make sure you have some downtime from work before you go to bed. Our brains are wired so that if they have been crunching numbers, solving problems and generally very active – they need some time to calm down.

Don’t eat rich foods or drink too much coffee after 8pm. And put down the Playstation/ social media feeds an hour before bedtime.

Have a regular time for bed! Whether you are a night-owl or rise with the lark, make sure you stick to a bedtime routine and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Regular 7-hour sleep times will improve your mental health, make you more alert and more productive at work and at home!


Useful links: 





Do your furloughed staff know you CARE


Furlough. With over 8 million workers furloughed, we wanted to ask employers, “Do your furloughed staff know you still care about them?”


When did you last talk openly with your furloughed employees?


Just a week ago was a Bank Holiday. The next one isn’t until the end of August. Between now and then, millions of workers will have been on furlough for approaching 5 months.


While employers and those still employed face ever-increasing workloads covering their businesses, how are the furloughed feeling?


Mental health week ended just a few weeks ago, but already the news is full of new, pressing economic shocks and doom.


Now, imagine you are a single parent, a breadwinner in your home? A recent graduate. A new homeowner with mortgage bills at the end of every month.


Imagine how they might be feeling on furlough.


Whilst furloughed, staff in the UK cannot contribute to their company’s business financial success, there is nothing to say employers have to neglect these armies of suspended talent whose passion and commitment to start working for your company again remains undimmed.


So, stay connected. Take the time to speak to your furloughed team regularly. Reassure them, be present and mindful of questions they may have. Be personal. Be open to any insecurities they may have. Encourage them to refresh their skills through online courses. Above all, be honest.


The businesses that survive the current situation will be the ones who can trade out of the furlough. With most of their staff refocussed, positive, upskilled, and confident in the knowledge their employer, boss and company are, and have been, 100% behind them.


Those companies will have the essential ingredients for business success in a turbulent economy. Loyalty. Passion, drive, and commitment. Happy, engaged workers are far more productive than staff who feel isolated, forgotten, or neglected.


If you can get that collective belief in your team, they will genuinely want to help the company and help you, return to profit. A motivated team is a successful team!


So, show your furloughed workers you really care about them. They will be worth their weight in gold when the market picks up and you need to retain your trained, talented people.


If you are a furloughed employee who is feeling neglected and insecure, please contact our team at Astute Recruitment Ltd who will be delighted to talk through your concerns and help you.


Our MD – Mary Maguire, is happy to take CVs and distribute them to our team. Simply email your CV with a mobile number and any message to [email protected] and she will be glad to help, advise, and support your career queries.