Remote work can offer an employee the flexibility needed to be a caregiver, world traveler or student; making it an ideal form of work for most of the population. For an older employee however, the idea of working from home can seem overwhelming and fraught with technological difficulties.
Luckily, many of the skills needed to succeed in the office translate quite easily to working from home. Time management, self-sufficiency, communication and teamwork for example are all key remote work skills. And chances are, anyone whose had office experience, is familiar with a computer. However, there is a level of tech savviness required to operate out of the office full time.
For those looking to make the transition to remote work for the first time, but are afraid of getting left behind in this new digital age, here are some of the most popular web applications to get up to speed on before you apply for the job.
It's worth noting that many of these applications have free tutorials, videos, and training available as well as free versions to help you get your feet wet.
File Storage & Sharing Platforms
When you're working on the go, you can't be tied down to your desktop. Instead it's common for remote workers to operate exclusively from online or cloud based platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Apple iCloud
. These make it easy to access your work files no matter where you are or what device you're on. As long as you have the app downloaded, you can work from anywhere.
Long gone are the days of losing your work because your computer crashed. These applications automatically save and sync everything as you go. Not to mention, you can effortlessly share files with others by giving them access via a link or email address. Google even offers a full suite of applications including word documents, slide shows and spreadsheets well suited for every field of work.
Unfortunately, even remote workers can't escape meetings. Zoom and Skype
are popular video conferencing options for meeting outside of the office. Zoom offers free video calls with up to 50 people as long as you don't talk for more than 40 minutes and Skype is free as long as both parties are using the app. Both of these applications (and many others) offer chat options, screen sharing and recorded calls. Just make sure you're well equipped with the right headset for the job.
While email is everyone's go to in-office communication platform, remote workers often utilize project management software to stay in touch virtually. Both Trello and Slack
are excellent examples and offer many collaborative features for working with a team remotely. These shared applications make it easy to generate a task list and delegate the workload. They also show each member's progress as well as what stage any given project is in and give the option to offer feedback to one another. Additionally shared calendars ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to meetings and out of office time periods.
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