COVID 19 and working from home

These are difficult times for everyone. It seems like a COVID 19 UK update is happening every five minutes and it can be very disconcerting and disorientating – particularly if you find yourself working from home and feel out on a limb.

Manchester accountants The Accountancy People are here to help you.

Our systems are fully cloud based so we can work from home and self-isolate if the need arises – there should be no interruption to our services. If you or those you know are struggling to file returns, please let us know and we’ll do what we can to help. 

COVID 19 financial support is being offered by the government but it can be difficult to work out what, if any, COVID 19 help for small businesses may apply to you.

If you need to discuss your finances, then ring or email Manchester accountants The Accountancy People and we’ll do our best to help – it’s what we’re here for.

We will self-isolate if ill but other than that it will be business as usual.  Our offices in Stalybridge and Stockport will remain open unless:

  1. We are instructed by the authorities to close.
  2. Several members of the team have the illness at the same time.

But even if the physical offices are not open, we will work remotely unless ill.

People with small businesses are attached to their businesses almost like a family member, and like a family member they need to see them through a difficult time like COVID 19 UK.

Manchester accountant James Sheard wants to ensure his business can survive the financial repercussions of an economic shut down because not only his mortgage but also the mortgages of his staff are dependent on that. He is also looking to the potential long-term benefits of these actions:

  1. cloud-based phones and IT mean the team can take home their laptops and still have full access to all our systems and data
  2. Setting up systems and processes to support people working on their own at home and maintain productivity will have enduring benefit as they give ongoing flexibility
  3. Looking at costs and questioning all expenditure can strengthen the business long-term
  4. Reducing expenses now that should have been reduced some time ago
  5. Noting the expenses that could be reduced but prefer not to at this stage
  6. Noting the expenses that could be reduced if it became essential

If you are working from home then here are some suggestions on ways to keep yourself, your family, and your work on track during the COVID 19 UK challenges.

  1. Get dressed and keep to normal work times – this will help keep a sense of ‘going to work’ even if you don’t go through the front door to do so
  2. Pick a specific room or table to work from – keeping a workspace will also help with getting a feeling of leaving work behind when you finish for the day
  3. Establish boundaries – this will be very different for households with several people at home who would normally be at work or in school compared with households with one person, but overall it’s important that everyone respects that you still have to work even though you are not in your usual place of work
  4. Chunking – depending on your circumstances and the kind of work you do, it may help to work in blocks of say an hour, then spend 15 minutes with the children if they’re off school, then do another hour, followed by another 15 minute break – even if you don’t have children, it’s important to get up and move at least once an hour
  5. Go outside each day – it’s important to observe government guidance on self-isolation but beyond that, it’s crucial to not stay inside all day every day or you’ll go stir crazy – a walk around the block at the start or end of the day can help with that sense of starting or stopping work – a dog can really help
  6. Ring people – if you’re used to seeing and speaking with people every day then it can be a shock to the system to find you are on your own – emails and texts are fine, but speaking to a real person, whether by phone or video, will be important in helping break down a sense of isolation
  7. Keep off social media – it’s likely to be full of COVID 19 stories that won’t help you feel any better and if you’re tempted to stray into getting active on social media during work time that may not go down well with the company you’re working for
  8. Feedback – more than ever it’s important to tell someone if they did a good job – and if they didn’t, then deal with the issue now rather than let it fester and become something bigger by the time things get back to normal

The COVID 19 UK situation is very fluid.  The government is working with the finance industry and business to try and deliver help. Here at Manchester accountants The Accountancy People, we will try and keep you up-to-date on the detail of which buttons you need to press to take advantage of what’s on offer – but at the moment things are still being worked out. Please tell us your experiences so we can learn from and share them.

Here are 2 things that we know now and may be relevant to you:

  1. IR35 – The new rules on IR35 will not now be implemented until April 2021.
  2. Time to pay – click on this link https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc  if you need time to pay your taxes. The Chancellor has promised HMRC will be understanding and lenient. 
  3. Let us know your experiences – then we can get a better understanding of just where the new boundaries are.

Do get in touch with us. These are unprecedented times and we will give you whatever support we can.

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