Remote work is on the rise. Still, it's not something that everyone can just jump into. Employees performing their jobs outside the walls of a central office -- particularly those whose work was not remote previously -- require some training and tools before embarking on their journey.
Below we discuss the top three technology elements that can help set a remote worker up for success.
The fact that you'll need the use of some fundamental tools in order to work remotely ought to be obvious, but unfortunately, it's not. So as a remote worker, push to ensure that you are given or otherwise partially compensated for a few basic pieces of hardware.
You'll either need to be shipped a desktop computer or be given exclusive home use of a company laptop. Additionally, you'll need solid, reliable, password-protected Wi-Fi, and a smartphone. Some more generous employers will pay for the entirety of your internet bill each month, while others may give you a flat stipend to cover part of it; the same goes for your cell phone bill. Whatever you and your organization end up deciding, it is fair that as an employee you receive some financial help when it comes to work-related items you can't go without.
Most employees in the knowledge workforce do at least some of their work in conjunction with colleagues. For a distributed team, that means one thing: virtual collaboration.
The virtual-collaboration-tool leader is Slack, which lets users share files, communicate in real-time, and organize projects or customers into "channels" to which colleagues can be invited for access. It integrates easily with Google Docs and Dropbox, too, so you don't have to abandon your old standbys to use it.
There is a free version of Slack, but your employer will probably want to invest in one of the platform's very reasonable paid plans.
In the old days of cubicle work, if you had a question about how to use a piece of technology, you had the luxury of being able to peek over your furry gray wall and sheepishly ask your neighbor for a quick tutorial.
These days, you're on your own, right? Well, not really.
Numerous websites offer step-by-step how-to courses for people just as confused as you. Our favorite: LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), which offers clear, high-quality tutorials made by professionals on everything from guitar playing to web development. Many of the videos are free to start watching, but if you want the whole experience, you'll need a subscription to the site.
If you're the self-taught type, you may want to see if your employer will foot the bill for the website. It will end up paying for itself after you learn all there is to know about programming and teach your colleagues for free.
Are you in a remote work situation and a bit tired of working from home? Check out Metro Office's nine D.C. and Washington-area coworking spaces for drop-in memberships, virtual office options and private office space!
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