5 Great Ways to Keep Fit at Home

5 Great Ways to Keep Fit at Home

Lock down. Home Bound. Stuck. For many of us, life looks completely different to how it was just a few weeks ago. Home working or furloughed, being sat on a sofa isn’t exactly brilliant for our health. It’s hard too – Surrounded by creature comforts, unending visual entertainment, apps, food and drink, we can all be forgiven for taking a little time to relax and indulge in the face of stress.

But what happens if we’re at home for weeks, months even? What price will we pay for overindulging?

It’s important we do what we can to replace or improve body movement or face an inevitable dip both in mental and physical health. In short, doing nothing for a sustained period of time will make us sad, fat and prone to new health concerns.

We asked our colleague and former Manager of Beth Tweddle Gymnastics, Lauren Caldwell, what 5 things we can do to stay fit at home and make the most of our daily exercise allowance. Here’s what she had to say:

Couch to 5K

Often when trying to get into exercise, we can overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we’re just getting started. Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking that gradually builds up your fitness and stamina. You can follow the programme through a podcast that talks you through each run as you go, or use their clever app that tracks your progress, coaches you through each run and allows you to listen to your own music while you do it.

Already a major hit in the UK, the Couch to 5K plan involves 3 runs a week, with a rest day in between and different schedule for each of the 9 weeks. It’s a really good place to start if you’re not used to running and want to make the most of getting outside once a day!

NOTE: Remember to maintain social distancing rules when outside. 

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

This type of training can be done with little to no equipment and you only need a small space – ideal for a lockdown!

HIIT is a cardio session split into short bursts of focused hard work. The simple idea of high-intensity training is to raise the intensity of your cardio.

The great thing about HIIT is that it will only take up a small amount of your time, just 30 minutes max. It is recommended to have a day’s rest in between each HIIT workout to avoid overtraining which can result in injury.

There are hundreds of personal trainers on Instagram and YouTube posting HIIT workouts that you can try. Take a look!


Zumba is a well-known fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves aimed at improving cardiovascular fitness. This is seriously fun and wonderfully entertaining. If you’re into dance – and even if you’re not – you will have a lot of fun with Zumba. You’ll find vast libraries of Zumba instruction videos on YouTube and other streaming sites, so find one for beginners and give it a try!


If you’re looking to add a bit of zen to your social distancing, yoga is a great way to reduce stress and calm the nervous system while improving flexibility and helping to maintain a balanced metabolism.

The fundamental purpose of yoga is to foster harmony in the body, mind, and environment. Yoga claims to offer a complete system of physical, mental, social, and spiritual development.

Again, there are loads of video tutorials online to suit your ability, from beginners to advanced. If you can, you should use a yoga mat (or something similar) to avoid any carpet burns. If you have one, you could use a camping mat instead!

10K Step Challenge

Fun fact: The idea that humans must take 10,000 steps a day came from a marketing campaign.

In 1965, a Japanese company chose to name their pedometer ‘the 10,000-step meter’. It’s widely believed this name was chosen because the Japanese character for 10,000 (万) looks sort of like a man walking. There was no science behind it, just a great gimmick.

That being said, it is still true that taking 10,000 steps a day will help you burn an extra 2,000-3,500 calories per week. To put that into perspective, 1 lb of fat equates to around 3500 calories so this could be a good way to help keep the weight off whilst we are under these Covid-19 restrictions!

10K sounds like a lot, but you’d be amazed at how many steps you will clock up in a short space of time – even just walking around your house while you’re on the phone will make a dent in that total. You can use your phone to track your steps, and there are number of fitness trackers you can buy online for relatively little money. We wouldn’t recommend manually tracking your steps though; you mind find it somewhat stressful! 1…2…3…4…

So, there you go. 5 ways to stay fit, have fun and keep occupied at home. When you’re done, by all means, fire up Netflix and melt back into your sofa… mmm boxsets…

Stay Safe!

OutPlacement Services

OutPlacement Services

Langley James offers a range of programmes to help you find your next role. We can provide advice across all employment sectors. Working on a one to one basis with one of our experienced career coaches, your coaching programme will be tailored around your specific needs but typically includes the following:


  • Assessing your career capital, key skills, experience, etc
  • Exploring career options and alternative ways of working
  • Making informed decisions about your next career move
  • Devising a career action plan
  • Locating advertised and unadvertised jobs
  • Improving CV’s, cover letters, application forms to get you shortlisted
  • Increasing your visibility to employers through your on-line profile
  • Managing agency and head-hunter relationships
  • Interviews tactics, advice for presentations and networking
  • Organising your job search campaign
  • Salary negotiation and settling into the new job


The consultation will take place via the telephone, Skype or similar agreed medium and will take 1 hour. Follow-up calls included in 7, 14 and 28 days to provide you with support and feedback during what can be a difficult and challenging time. Cost per consultation is just £199 which includes both follow up calls and online support.

To arrange a consultation or to ask more about this service call 0207 788 6600.

Government Announces 12-Month IR35 Off-Payroll Delay

Government Announces 12-Month IR35 Off-Payroll Delay

The Government has announced a last-minute postponement to the implementation of the Off-Payroll Tax to the private sector in light of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, with the legislation now due to be reintroduced in April 2021.

The decision was taken following significant pressure from contractors and campaigners – and indeed from within the House of Lords – who warned that the inevitable loss of work due to the virus for contractors deemed ‘inside IR35’ and effectively forced into ‘zero rights employment’ would prove catastrophic.

“This is a deferral in response to the ongoing spread of Covid-19 to help businesses and individuals,” announced Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay MP to the House of Commons.

“This is a deferral and not a cancellation, and the Government remains committed to reintroducing this policy to ensure people working like employees but through their own limited company pay broadly the same amount of tax as those employed directly.”

Reaction: Delay Presents Opportunity to Overhaul Off-Payroll

Though Government has stated its intentions to legislate next year, contractors, clients and industry stakeholders will no doubt welcome the valuable time granted by the tragic circumstances. The announcement presents significant scope for greater consideration of the ill-considered measures, and further discussion over the alignment of employment status for tax and employment rights purposes, to combat the issue of ‘zero rights employment’ that Off-Payroll threatens to escalate.

“We warmly welcome the announcement that the Government has seen sense and delayed the damaging IR35 Off-Payroll Tax roll-out for a year,” says ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “With contractors facing the prospect of losing work with no sick pay, it was clearly the right and sensible thing to do.We thank our 2,600 campaigners for their excellent work, and we thank all the MPs who raised their concerns with the Treasury and opposed the flawed policy.

“We now must keep pushing for changes to outlaw the disgrace that is ‘zero rights employment’, and to make it illegal for firms to push employer’s taxation onto contractors. We also must push for the genuine review of IR35 legislation promised by the previous Chancellor, as part of the Conservatives’ planned review into self-employment.”

Chaplin adds: “Over the next year, it’s time to finally overhaul the discredited IR35 legislation, which everyone knows doesn’t work. Instead, we must come up with a way to properly recognise contracting and freelancing in the tax system and ensure people are either classed as self-employed or as employees with full rights and benefits”.

(SOURCE: contractorcalculator.co.uk)

Our expert IT recruitment consultants are here to take the pressure off you when recruiting someone new, permanent or contract. We liaise with candidates with the utmost care to ensure that their candidate experience is a positive one. Call us on 0207 788 6600 and let us help you Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting.

North West IT Salary & Contractor Rate Guide

North West IT Salary & Contractor Rate Guide

Sometimes you just need to know how your salary compares to the competition – whether that be for yourself or your next hire.

Below is a selection of the positions we have recently filled and the average salary accepted.

Management – Permanent & Contracts

Permanent Salary % Rate Change  Contract Rate % Rate Change
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) £110,000 -1% £1100 0%
Chief Information Officer (CIO) £100,000 +3% £914 +2%
IT Director £100,000 +1%  £826 0%
Head of IT £67,500 +1%  £531 +2%
IT Manager £51,250 +2%  £460 0%
Infrastructure Manager £57,500 -1%  £470 +6%
Senior Network Manager £50,000 -1%  £500 0%
Security Manager £58,000 +2% £634 +2%
Service Desk Manager £38,000 -3%  £400 +7%
Database Manager £60,000 -1%  £620 0%
Development Manager £57,000 +2%  £591 +4%

Team – Permanent & Contracts

Permanent Salary
% Rate Change
Contract Rate
% Rate Change
1st Line Support
2nd Line Support
3rd Line Support
Mac Engineer
Applications Support
Business Analyst
Database Administrator
Network Engineer
Project Manager
Network Security Engineer


 *Contract Rate includes Langley James mark up fee. Which is an 18% mark up with a minimum £50.

As specialist recruiters in the IT market place, we network extensively with people to ensure we can find the top talent when companies are considering recruiting or have particular business issues they may need to address.

We have worked with a wealth of companies across the UK having saved them both time and money when recruiting for key positions in their teams.

If there is anything you would like assistance with, even just advice, or insight on anything recruitment related, please get in touch.

IR35 – Why Employers Need to Hope for the Best, But Prepare for the Worst

IR35 – Why Employers Need to Hope for the Best, But Prepare for the Worst

With the IR35 tax changes coming into play in 2020, the status of ‘self-employment’ may begin to seriously lose its appeal.  Contractors around the country will be starting to consider moving over to the dark side of permanent employment, boxing up their idealistic counterculture, badging it a distant memory of a ‘young man’s game’.  

So, as an employer, at last (it would seem) all our dreams have come true.  There’s an influx of new talent seeking permanent employment pouring into the marketplace and the war for talent can finally become a thing of the past. 

But beware…

The truth is there are necessary and overdue changes coming to the temporary contractor marketplace, if it were property, they’d call it market correction.  But the reality is that in spite of IR35 contractors will always be paid a premium over and above their permanent counterparts. They simply had it even better because they were paying a more preferential tax rate which thanks to IR35 will no longer be the case. 

So, here’s the thing.  If you’re interviewing a contractor for a permanent role, keep in mind the old saying, once a c**t*****r always a c**t*****r.   There’s a real risk they’re reverting to ‘temporary’ type, ‘temporarily’ abandoning the apparently sinking ship to join the good ship permanent employment to weather the storm.  

Self-employment is so much more than an effective and (soon to be illegal) way to pay less tax.  It is in part a lifestyle choice. Freedom, flexibility, more control over your work-life balance.  At worst, possibly driven by them being unable to work for or with other people. But the multi-faceted advantages are something you need to consider.

Don’t get me wrong, if you do find yourself interviewing a contractor for a permanent role in your business you must give them real consideration.  They bring a really unique breadth of experience, quite possibly amongst your competitors. They’ve also got the ability to problem-solve, work independently and think creatively.  You just need to take additional measures to ensure they’re really serious about going permanent. 

Prepare yourself by making the following checks at interview stage and if you hire them, post their employment:

At interview stage:

  • Find out whether or not they have had contracts extended and whether there are many instances of them not completing a contract.  Seek the reasons why and if possible, contact their previous employer for more information
  • Be direct, ask them why they’re now considering the move from temp to perm
  • Set your boundaries from the outset.  Have the conversation about your expectations regarding flexibility, discuss your policies and procedures with them in detail and gauge their reaction
  • Ask them about their expectations, it may be that they are looking for a more flexible role than the one you’re offering, but if they’re the right person for the job it may be worth finding a compromise
  • Develop a specific set of competency questions around their ability to work in a team environment and their ability to take direct orders from senior colleagues
  • As a contractor they may have become involved in providing support to other companies.  This may not be an issue, but better they lay their cards on the table honestly at the outset.


  • A perk of contracting is the flexibility to enjoy more holidays and long weekends.  Ensure you keep an eye on their attendance
  • Timekeeping can become an issue if not managed correctly, they’re used to coming and going as they please, so be sure to check they’re adhering to the contractual agreements you made at the outset
  • For the first 6 months, stay in semi-regular contact with their line manager and keep an eye on how they’re working with the team.

Having said all that, the war for talent isn’t just about hiring great permanent employees.  There are still huge advantages to the temporary workforce and very good reasons for people to remain self-employed.  Contractors can be significantly more cost effective; you can call on them as and when there’s a business need and you don’t have the additional duty of care when it comes to personal issues or benefits packages.

The bottom line is the right balance of temporary and permanent staff will be unique to each organisation.  Langley James has over 20 years experience in exceptional IT Recruitment. We’re connected with some of the best talent and employers in the sector.  If you need help with your resourcing strategy, or you have a business need for either temp or perm IT talent get in touch.

Find out more about our services here