4 Digital Tools to Master During Quarantine

Remote work has been around for quite some time, but not until the COVID-19 epidemic did it become the norm for a very large percentage of Americans, and workers across the world. Depending upon business output and productivity, many employees may want to continue working form home after “Stay-at-Home” orders become a thing of the past.

Some jobs simply can’t be done as well without being on-site, but if you think yours is one that can, mastering this list of digital tools will help your case when you bring up permanent remote work to your current and future employers.

Online Work/Project Management Tool(s)

Two of employers’ biggest fear regarding remote work are a lack of communication and a fear of successful, fluid practices for work completion being brushed aside. With project management tools such as Asana, Monday, or Wrike, workflow and completion percentages can be all in one place and seen by anyone, no matter where they are on the map. Seeing assignment due dates and names those projects are assigned to keeps employees accountable, and the communal “home base” for work also adds a layer of closeness and an office feel.

Familiarizing yourself with one or more of these programs will certainly add a nice bullet to your resume, as remote work shifts from a coveted benefit to a normalcy.

Brush Up on Your Basic Application Knowledge

Though they wear the same names, Microsoft apps like Word and Excel evolve so much from year to year that they may seem like a whole new computer program to you if you haven’t updated your system in a while. Having been a go-to spreadsheet computer application since 1985, Microsoft Excel stays ahead of the times by implementing new features regularly, and increasing user-friendliness.

Some game-changing Excel tips and tricks to master from your couch are Recommended Charts, which turn data into visual representations (charts/graphs/etc.); Conditional Formatting, which automatically color codes data; and Flash Fill, which is great for making formatting changes to a large group of data (e.g., change a row that is written “[First Name] [Last Name]” to “[Last Name], [First Name]” with the click of a button).

Learn a New (Programming) Language

A step up from applications, being able to demonstrate a baseline knowledge of a programming language is not only a surefire way to prove that you’re beyond savvy when it comes to computers, but it truly does serve as a catalyst to an unwavering confidence in computer use. Being able to build a simple app for your company to stay connected while remote is a lot easier than it sounds if you master a programming language.

The two most popular programming languages in 2019 were PYTHON and R, with the former being the preferred language of more than 65% of programmers. Both are considered quite easy to learn and use, with R being more geared towards statistical applications and PYTHON tending to be more frequently updated based on user feedback and is compatible across Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix.

Be a SLACKer

Slack, as well as a few other viable programs, is an instant messaging service with a kick. It allows users to have multiple chats going at once, great for project management and jobs that need to have contact with a lot of different departments. With most of these top-end chat programs, file sharing is also a quick click-and-drag, automatically saving the files on the platform, as an added backup storage for your work.

Get Ready to Stay

Mastering these digital tools is not only a great way to stay busy while forced to stay inside due to COVID-19 concerns, but it truly will put you a step ahead of your competition as the business world evolves from this unparalleled scenario. Telecommuting may very well begin to be a frequently-offered benefit in the workforce, and having a firm grip on a wide range of tools to maximize a remote work relationship will put you in a great place as an applicant.

Leave Comment