Once upon a time, a lot of companies especially in parts of Africa e.g. Ghana, never fathomed that work, no matter where done, would still be equivalent to work. Conventionalism limited the scope of work life and productivity. Especially, as location was perceived as a key component in carrying out job tasks; location was prioritized over output. However, since the outbreak of the coronavirus, companies, government institutions and individuals have been compelled to adjust to working from home. Hence, whether the task was done in the car, bedroom or even the bathroom, the fundamental requirement has been for the job to get done successfully.
Many believed it would be innovations like artificial intelligence and automation that would steadily bring this transformation. But to the many people’s surprise, it’s taken a virus. Without warning, the world we once knew has changed right before our eyes. So how do we embrace this new era we have entered and ensure we are not left behind in the future of work.
Learn how to use the web and phone applications
Statistics over the last 3 months have shown that the active user base of platforms like Slack and Zoom have grown drastically. For example, Slack, the business chat platform reached 12.5 million users for the first time. Likewise, Zoom grew from a lively user base of 10 million to approximately 200 million each day. This shows that, virtual spaces of this nature have become our new conference rooms, classrooms and boardrooms. Slack is mainly for chatting while zoom gives room for video sessions for multiple people. Skype is likewise still efficient for discussions, interviews and tutorials. Take time to research how they are used and get acquainted with these applications. They can make your work life and company more efficient in a time where the everyday work life has become more uncertain and unpredictable.
Learn how to use basic computer software
There are many people who are still not conversant with basic computer software like Microsoft Office. Applications like MS Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, PowerPoint, Excel or Access are significant in completing official tasks. Getting acquainted with these applications will help you tremendously cope with working remotely. Certain responsibilities which could have been easily explained in person would require more elaboration due to the reduction in human to human interactions. Moreover, for online presentations, tutorials and working at an optimum speed to be improved, you would need to have a good command of at least 3 of the Microsoft Office applications. Take time to explore your PC or laptop. Go online and research various ways you can use excel to make calculations, or MS Word to edit documents. Do not leave any stone unturned in your quest for knowledge in these areas.
Learn how to use social media
Until recently, to market a product, individuals or companies would have to pay huge amounts of money for TV and radio commercials. Although this is still the case, there is a much more economical way of marketing products. This is via the internet. Platforms like Facebook or Instagram have created opportunities for persons to build their businesses or brands online. Hence, beyond creating a personal page to interact with friends, one can create a business page with which they can boost the sales of their products.
There are features on these platforms which permit you to pay a reasonable amount for the advertisement of your page or posts. Similarly, Youtube has created a feature for adverts to be seen by a wider range of people. LinkedIn is also a great platform for professionals to network and for you to market yourself and build your personal brand. You can also create a profile which will help you find jobs within your area of expertise. Therefore, don’t limit social media to recreation. For the field of work, you can use it to build your career and position yourself for success in an ever-changing world.
Take advantage of online courses
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, many institutions across the globe have made free online versions of various courses and programs. Harvard University, for example, announced a free online business course where there will be roughly 10 hours of study material. This is a great time and opportunity to gain certain added skills for your career. The lockdown in various countries has affected many jobs and businesses. Thus, acquiring certain skills online can help you pursue other jobs to increase your streams of income. Be it learning how to blog, web design, how to cook etc., these skills will increase your opportunity to earn an income even if your 9 to 5 job is threatened. Also, websites like Alison offer a wide range of free online courses to help you improve in your area of expertise or even gain a new skill. Therefore, take advantage of such opportunities online. These can further improve your experience of working from home or even starting your own online business.
The future of work with its key component of the internet will make work more inclusive and accessible. Accessibility for those who were left out of design of work pre-COVID-19 era. At the same time, inclusivity, as it will make it possible to have a much more flexible schedule and arrangement for nursing mothers and persons who want to maintain more than one job. It is thus key to not only be equipped with a skill in your area of proficiency but likewise other basic skills of how to use the internet to make work productive or to earn other streams of income.