Like many individuals spanning all sectors across the UK, following the government’s recent legislative employment announcement, you may well now find yourself in an unprecedented state of furlough. You’re fortunate enough to have future job security with your current employer, but suddenly find yourself with much more unexpected free time, at least for the foreseeable future. So, what now?

A really great way to utilise this time is finding ways to undertake some form of personal development, particularly new study or qualifications through online, distance learning – be it recreational or professional. E-learning is a really great and, most importantly, flexible way to allow you to develop and upskill, not only due to the timescales and methods of study, but also as most provider will have a range of payment options depending on your current financial situation and commitments.

After doing just a little research, it becomes apparent that there are hundreds of courses and subjects to choose from, allowing you to specialise in an area or topic which you are genuinely passionate about or interested in. Distance learning may be particularly useful if, like many others currently, you also have additional family commitments due to school closures; you can schedule in study and work whenever you have time as there are no set classes or schedules, meaning you can complete courses in any given timescale which suits you – including taking extended breaks from course study if at all needed. Online colleges and universities will also provide you with a specialist tutor, giving you a dedicated point of contact throughout the duration your study, to ensure you feel supported all the way from enrolment through to course completion.

And so, whilst life in furlough may currently seem daunting, you can absolutely utilise this time effectively, invest in yourself and help to advance your individual long-term personal and career goals – all from the comfort of your own home!