Lockdown Learning: our favourite online courses

With reduced commuting time, the ever-increasing chance that more and more employees will be put on furlough until the scheme ends in June, more individuals are finding lockdown very frustrating.

The sudden loss of a full-time job, uncertainty and isolating while staying at home can make daily life feel disorganised and unproductive. This makes small business owners feel increasingly stressed, putting a strain on finances and the whole household. However, all is not lost and there are plenty of opportunities to keep learning and striving for self-improvement to make the most of the available time.

Not sure where to start? Follow our list of online courses for small business owners to stay ahead of the curve and keep learning more skills during lockdown:

woman lying in bed enjoying an online course

Digital Skills

Digital literacy: succeeding in a digital world by OpenLearn is an introductory course to discovering what the digital world means and how to navigate this ever-changing landscape with newfound confidence. The course estimates a completion time of 24 hours, which can be broken up into 8 weeks of short study sessions, and you’ll receive a completion certificate upon completion.

Create a professional online presence is hosted by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding, provided by online learning platform FutureLearn. This short course contains around 4 hours of training, videos and insights into leveraging social media for business purposes, communication strategies and which platform you should consider for your small business needs.

Small business owner in a coffee shop

Business and Management

Time Management: Working from Home is an hour and a half on how to balance your time when working remotely, keeping time for other priorities in your life outside of work. Go through a productive daily schedule and the setting up of a workspace that is easy-to-maintain. LinkedIn Learning is another great online platform to discover knowledge from experts while having shorter time commitments (most learning videos are around an hour long).

People Management Skills, hosted by CIPD, is a 5-week course covering balancing work performance and effective team management, looking at the bigger picture of a business and learning communication techniques to really connect with the people you work with.

Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting by The Open University is a helpful short course in managing finances, something that is readily overlooked and potentially misunderstood in small business. Embark on 4 weeks of becoming more confident with your finances!

Couple learning together

Personal Development

Don’t forget that your own personal development is extremely important, and not all short courses need to be directly related to your career field, taking care of your mental health, wellbeing and personal interests are also important for a well-balanced life (and a bit of enjoyment while staying indoors).

Start Writing Fiction by The Open University and How to Write your First Song by the University of Sheffield help you reconnect with your creative side during a stressful time, and you might discover a new hobby, or write the book you've been putting off - at the same time!

You could even explore new languages to help you on your next trips around the world, such as OpenLearn’s Beginners’ German or enjoy a more in-depth and real-life understanding of your favourite film or series genre while working on An Introduction to Crime and Criminology

Visit these resources to search for a variety of short courses that could suit you, and don't forget to share what you've learned with others!




Google Digital Garage

LinkedIn Learning



Remember to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives during this time, and happy learning!

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