The sudden and quite unexpected challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK has highlighted more than ever the need for digital skills. While face to face contact is always useful, and for some businesses essential, when that’s not possible businesses have had to embrace the digital world and find ways of operating online.
If you’re not sure where to start with digital skills, here’s an introduction from our checklist.
In fact, smart starter-uppers have been embracing the benefits of home working for years – meaning that there is now an abundance of tools to help you run your business from your home office (or your kitchen table or sofa!).
Depending on your business it probably won’t take long before your business files start to use up the storage on your computer. Get around this by storing your files on the ‘cloud’ – remote ‘filing cabinets’ on the internet. The benefits of cloud storage include being able to have a backup of all of your important files (critical in case of emergencies or disasters) and the ability to log in from any location – meaning you really can run your business fully mobile. Examples of cloud document storage are Dropbox and Google Drive. Your phone providers may offer additional storage options.
If you collaborate with team members or suppliers, or if an online platform will help you continue your business by having a shared space with your customers, it may be useful to try out task management and collaboration tools such as Asana, Trello or Slack. These allow numbers of users to log into the same company area, to share documents and files and collate feedback.
If you’re working from home it’s important to have some structure to your working day in order to focus, and also take breaks. The Pomodoro technique is a productivity approach that recommends working in focused periods of 25 minutes and taking short breaks. If you want to give it a try you can download apps for your smartphone that are based on this approach. Pomodoro is Italian for tomato – the creator of the technique used a plastic kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato!
It’s not just about online tools and hacks. Click here for more tips on working from home.