From start-ups to small businesses, how to manage working from home during Covid


WITH the nation back in lockdown, employees in every sector are facing extra stress. But Sunemployment is here to help.

In this special edition, we bring you the best expert help and advice to make lockdown working suit you.

Lockdown can be challenging for working parents


CHARLOTTE Davies, LinkedIn Careers Expert and mum of two said: “There are challenging times ahead as parents need to readjust to working from home while home-schooling children again.”

  1. Have a New Year reset. Sit down with your whole household, kids included, and talk about what worked well – and not so well – in Lockdown 1.
  2. Create physical boundaries. If space allows, create a dedicated workstation for your children. Separate work and home lives.
  3. Talk to your employer. The events of the last year have meant many companies are more understanding about the challenges of working from home with children.
  4. Get support. Balancing work and childcare can feel overwhelming. Reach out to people who understand, like parenting peers.
  5. Embrace the noise! The sounds of children playing or crying in the background can be disruptive, but it needs to be normalised.


MIKE Cherry, chair of the Federation of Small Business, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities and the economy, accounting for 60 per cent of private sector employment in the UK. The future economic recovery depends heavily on their survival in this first quarter of 2021.”

Mike Cherry, chair of the Federation of Small Business, says ‘Make sure you have a solid online presence’
  1. Know what financial packages you have access to. The situation is ever-changing. Get up to date advice at
  2. Make sure you have a solid online presence. If you can, switch your offering to online and use social media to make sales.
  3. Be adaptable. Among all the tough challenges, are there opportunities. Can you change the way you operate or provide services?
  4. Don’t stop networking. Reach out to those facing similar struggles.
  5. Be mindful of your physical and mental health. Look after yourself as well as your business.


EMMA Jones CBE is founder of start-up platform She said: “There is still a relentless passion for enterprise.”

  1. Embrace training. Lockdown offers the chance to learn something new. Take courses like the free Amazon Small Business Accelerator.
  2. Motivate staff. For your employees, lockdown will be worrying. Write them a personal note and outline clear guidance and the support available.
  3. Pivot. In the last year we’ve seen a decade’s worth of digital change. What innovation could you consider?
  4. What help can you get? Search out start-up support. Vodafone is offering 12 months’ free broadband on a 36-month plan to all firms with under 50 employees.
  5. Take advice. We can match start-ups with an adviser on to help you through.


KEY workers have borne the brunt of lockdown, grafting long hours in tough conditions.

Counsellor Mary Puczyniec ( shares her top coping strategies.

Counsellor Mary Puczyniec shares her best coping strategies for those working long hours in tough conditions
  • CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN AND LET THE REST GO: Focus positively on helping others. Worrying about things beyond your control will drain you. It is OK to feel anxious but if it gets overwhelming, try the CBT exercises at
  • BE KIND TO YOURSELF: Get enough sleep, exercise often and eat the right food.
  • STAY POSITIVE BUT REALISTIC: Don’t set your expectations too high. It is OK to have a bad day, let it go and start again tomorrow. Try a mindfulness session from
  • lBEWARE OF BURNOUT: Disrupted sleep, using alcohol to switch off, irritability and feeling unable to deal with simple tasks are signs of burnout. Get help early at, or
  •  KEEP CONNECTED: Locked down need not mean locked up. Plan non-work interactions. Instead of browsing social media, take a walk with a pal.
  • REMEMBER, THIS WILL END: Celebrate small victories and plan short-term. We have a vaccine and the end is in sight


INSURER Zurich is offering working parents on its payroll two weeks’ fully paid emergency “lockdown leave” to cope with childcare emergencies following school closures.

The move will benefit more than one in five of its 4,500 UK employees with children.

Insurer Zurich says ‘We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off ‘

Staff can take an additional ten days of paid leave while primary and secondary schools shut, individually or consecutively.

HR chief Steve Collinson said: “We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family.

“This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”

The firm has 33 roles up for grabs.

  • Head to careers/search-and-apply.


CALL centre giant Sensee has 200 new work-at-home roles to be filled.

The positions as customer contact advisors are permanent and offer 20 to 40 hours a week supporting major firms and Government agencies with their phone enquiries.

Call centre Sensee has 200 new work-at-home roles up for grabs

Call-centre experience is preferred but not essential, as full training will be provided.

Best of all, applicants can live anywhere in the country.

The outsourcing firm’s chief operating officer Paul Whymark said: “These roles enable employees to work flexible hours so they can enjoy the work-life balance benefits that working from home can offer with no commuting.”

  • Apply for an immediate start at

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