Essential Technical Skills to Work Remotely
Working from home has become the new normal for many employees across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Telecommuting may have started out as a temporary solution, but it will likely become a permanent shift in how business is done for many firms.
In fact, the President of Global Workplace Analytics predicts that up to 30% of the U.S. workforce will be permanently working from home even after the pandemic ends.
Empire Resume will discuss the essential technical skills required to work remotely.
Essential Technical Skills to Master Now
If you’re among the millions who are shifting from an on-site to remote work environment, then we recommend that you master these essential technical skills to help make the transition as seamless as possible:
2020 is the year of video conferencing and Zoom has probably received more attention in the past year than it has since its founding in 2011. This video conferencing software enables you to hear and see everyone that’s in a meeting on your computer screen. It gives more of the feeling of “being in the same room” than a regular conference call. People have even begun hosting virtual happy hours thanks to Zoom.
To be proficient with Zoom you should know how to log into meetings you’ve been invited to and how to invite others to a meeting. You should know where the mute button is and when to use it (hint: anytime you are not speaking).
Other platforms that offer video conferencing include Skype and Microsoft Teams. No matter which platform you use, however, video conferencing is an essential skill for working remotely. We all got a free pass to fumble through it at the start of the pandemic. However, employers are going to start to expect baseline proficiency in video conferencing.
You can consider this to be the Swiss Army Knife of workplace software. Microsoft Teams, or MS Teams, is a multifunctional workplace tool. It has a video conferencing, like Zoom, and the ability give co-workers permission to view your screen in real time. You can seamlessly show documents, files, and spreadsheets while in a meeting and get feedback from colleagues. After experiencing this type of flexibility and speed, emailing PDFs will feel like snail mail.
It also has the instant messaging feature for those times you need an immediate answer. You can create private chat groups among members of your department or with a few people that you’re working together with on a project so you can easily stay in contact throughout the day.
Knowing how to make the most of all that MS Teams has to offer is an essential skill for the remote worker.
Working remote has made the ability to collaborate more essential than ever. Google Drive is a work collaboration tool that many companies are turning to these days. It’s a cloud-based storage solution which enables work teams to easily access and share project documents. Google gives you 15 GBs for free just for signing up.
If you create a document that you need co-workers to see, then you simply upload it to Google Drive. Once it’s on the Drive, you can invite others to view the file and make edits. Those edits are saved directly to the Drive and there’s no need for e-mailing anything back and forth with colleagues. They can access the files on a laptop, phone, or tablet.
It helps cut down on inbox clutter and is great for helping to maintain version control. You and your team will know that whatever version of a file or document is on the drive is the latest version.
Another popular software of this type is DropBox. It shares features with GoogleDrive and some may prefer it.
These days, it seems like we’re all losing track of time. Plus, it’s so easy to get distracted when working from your home office, which is why time tracking is an essential technical skill for remote workers.
Toggl Track is a simple time-tracking application that can help you and your team see exactly how much time you’re spending on daily tasks and long-term projects. You’ll be able to identify areas where you’re wasting valuable time and determine what changes will need to be made in order to increase efficiency.
Much of what Toggl Tack has to offer comes with their free version, which is great for smaller businesses. You can always upgrade for more bells and whistles if you want them.
If project management isn’t part of your skillset, then it should be. As a remote worker, knowing where your projects are always is a must.
Workfront is project management software that has been a leader in that space since 2001. There are countless project management tools out there, but Workfront’s versatility is what makes it stand out from the competition.
Whether you’re in marketing, IT, product development, or professional services, Workfront can help you track a project from beginning to end. It ensures everyone on the project knows their roles, responsibilities, and due dates.
It’s also highly customizable. You can turn certain features on and off as you need them. As a bonus, it’ll allow you to slice and dice data dozens of ways for robust reports.
Working Remotely? Then You Need Essential Technical Skills
Companies who went virtual in 2020 are seeing major cost savings plus an increase in worker productivity. Many firms have plans to keep reaping those benefits by keeping at least a portion of their workforce online even after the dust settles.
If you want to be a valuable employee today and remain attractive to employers in the workplace of tomorrow, then now is the perfect time to increase your knowledge of these essential technical skills.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.