Roles that allow remote work are already a growing presence in the Australian workforce, but with the rise of the COVID-19 (or coronavirus) demand for remote work may drastically increase within the next few months.
Working from home amidst the possible pandemic of novel coronavirus is becoming an increasing possibility and, Australia’s ability to support this shift to remote work is under question. Although confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia are still far lower than other affected areas such as mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, it’s presence over the last few days has been reported to be growing at a slightly alarming rate. Travel restrictions have been extended, and screening measures for returning travellers have been enhanced, causing concern about the possibility of enforced self-isolation to try and slow down the spread of the virus.
As the reality of the virus becomes more apparent, employers need to start looking at the possibility of increasing remote work opportunities for their employees. Sick leave may increase during this time due to both personal infections or, caring for ill immediate family members. Ensuring that remote work is possible and sustainable for a business’ continuity is essential for Australia’s economy – business needs to go on as usual.
Although measures need to be put in place in the event that coronavirus reaches severe pandemic levels, it’s important not to panic!
The Australian government is encouraging people to continue with normal life, including going to sporting matches, eating out at your local Chinese restaurant and attending concerts. What’s most important is the focus on public health and good hygiene habits we all need to adopt to do our part in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
So what can you do? Here is some health advice from the World Health Organisation.
Becoming Prepared for Remote Work
Remote work is a type of employment that allows a person to work from anywhere, i.e. you don’t have a central workplace you must report to. This will enable people to work wherever they’d like whether that be from home or while travelling etc. To no longer have a central workplace is quite daunting and confusing to a lot of workers, not only from a professional point of view but also a social one. A reason for this is because technology is the primary resource that allows people to work remotely. If a person’s regular job doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge or, they’re very used to communicating face to face, the shift to online resources for all work-related activities (including meetings) via programs like Slack, Zoom and Google Documents, can be overwhelming and uncomfortable.
To help people with the possible transition into remote work amidst the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve put together a list of our Top 7 Courses that can help you up-skill in the areas that will allow you to work remotely with more confidence!
Top 7 Courses
When working from home, the practicality of having all your team members nearby is no longer there. All communication must be done via messaging programs, a phone call or video chat; this includes any contact with clients (potential or otherwise). More often than not, you’ll find yourself turning to email or some form of written communication. For those who struggle with clear and concise written communication, this can seem very difficult and daunting. A course that focuses on business writing is highly beneficial for those who need to brush up on their formal business communication skills. Browse Courses.
For those who work within sales or are looking to transition into this field, a course in customer engagement or retail services is a great idea! Call centre operators, telemarketers and customer service representatives can very easily work remotely. This (usually) means working from home with a phone and computer that is (often) provided to you by your employing company. Phone communication is quite different from face-to-face interaction and requires some training to familiarise yourself with the challenges involved with helping customers via only aural instructions. Browse Courses.
For those who work in business administration or who generally need to learn more about the basic programs involved with running a business should consider completing a certificate in business administration. Courses such as these now place a lot of focus on computer skills, as well as online and offline programs that most companies will use daily. For those who struggle with computer basics or the standard software that most businesses use should consider completing one of these courses to ensure computer-confidence if remote work is required. Browse Courses.
Digital Media and Technology
Digital media has become the leading force in today’s marketing world and, with technological advancements, it will only continue to grow more prevalent. A great thing about digital marketing and media work is that it’s all computer-based. This means, it can all be done and shared via online programs, allowing for remote work to be extremely possible (and popular)! Whether you’re the content creator, the writer or the data analyst behind the product – as long as each party is confident about what they’re doing, there’s minimal need for a central workplace! A digital media and technology course is a great way to familiarise yourself with all things digital marketing! Browse Courses.
Social media is a force within itself, and although it ties in with digital media and marketing, there are specific skills that are essential to any business’ social media manager. This form of work is purely technology-based and involves a lot of work on mobile phones. Hence, it’s a great role to have if you need (or want) to work remotely! If you’re looking to up-skill within your current marketing position or you’re looking to enter the social media marketing industry, a course to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of the industry is essential. Browse Courses.
Online Accounting and Finance
For those who wish to work remotely within finance and accounting, you should look into industry-specific courses for accounting software such as XERO or MYOB. These courses offer in-depth training on how to use accounting software effectively and, some even qualify you to help others through email and phone correspondence. The technological side of accounting and finance is very easily completed via remote work, whether you’re an accountant for a specific business or you work as a customer service representative for one of the software organisations – all you need is a computer device and phone! Browse Courses.
Cloud technology is the forefront of many business’ digital transformation strategies and, as the demand for remote workers becomes increasingly possible, the more critical it is to have these skills. Cloud computing goes into the skills and knowledge required to understand information systems, software development and significant data entries and maintenance. As more work continues to be produced and shared via online mediums, this will become increasingly important! To gain a deeper understanding and more confidence when it comes to technology systems and computing, we suggest completing a course in Cloud Computing! Browse Courses.
As the international spread of coronavirus continues, the reality that many workers will need to turn to remote work at some point increases. Whether you wish to up-skill within your current field to ensure you’re well-versed in computer skills or you’re looking for new employment that allows remote work from the start, there’s a course out there for you to help you take that step!
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