Working from home is something the younger generation seems more familiar with. But that doesn’t mean folks from the boomer generation have to miss out. You can learn and adapt to compete in the workplace—wherever it ends up. The best news is that it doesn’t have to break your budget, either.
Update Your Equipment Accordingly
Times are changing, and that means working from home without Wi-Fi probably isn’t a possibility. From equipping your home office to upgrading your internet connection, there are a few must-dos before you can begin working. Fortunately, it won’t cost you much—if anything—to make a few swaps.
For example, finding deals on your new tech can help cut costs. You can find extra discounts, promotional codes, and even cash-back offers for stores like Staples, cutting your expenses when starting out working from home.
And while Wi-Fi is often a basic tool for working from home, you may not need to upgrade your speed to handle work responsibilities. Instead, you can connect your computer directly to the ethernet cable. That means connecting via a data cable to your internet source, instead of delivering the connection over wireless signals. Your ethernet connection will likely deliver faster browsing speeds—and it’s more secure.
Speaking of security, as Automated Dreams points out, it’s wise to empty your computer’s cache once weekly and double-check all of your anti-virus software and firewall settings. Hackers abound these days, so better safe than sorry!
Know Where to Find Help
In your neighborhood, consider chatting with your local librarian for advice. Forbes notes many libraries offer free courses—such as access to Lynda, the LinkedIn Learning platform for online training—with nothing more than your library card. If an online search doesn’t get you the results you want, stop by your library and ask for assistance.
Brushing up your skills can also be as simple as searching for the topic you need to know about. For example, Google offers a complete resource page on everything remote work-related, from how to communicate remotely to learning to code. Of course, taking advice from the bigger names in the online world is always a smart idea—and it’s free, too.
You can also enroll in online courses to learn about specific topics. If you need to brush up on your presentation skills, for example, there’s a Udemy course for that—and their classes are often affordable. Plus, you receive lifetime access regardless of what type of course you purchase.
Learn the Latest and Greatest Tools
Working remotely requires a specific set of tools. To effectively work from home, you need the right programs and apps for file-sharing, communicating, and staying organized. The good news is that most are free, and it’s easy to find and download whatever you need.
For an introduction to essential tech, consider taking advice from the experts at Aging in Place. For more advanced online tools, consider the following for both work and personal purposes:
Get started using Slack, an online tool for collaborating with colleagues and teams.
Learn to navigate Zoom, the cloud video conferencing app that many corporations rely on.
Decide on a method of file-sharing so you can send documents to coworkers easily.
Depending on your industry—or your employer—you might have specific tools or guidelines for various tasks. Knowing the ins and outs of the biggest names in remote productivity can also help you acclimate when something new rolls out.
Fortunately, with a can-do attitude—and online resources at your fingertips—you’re never really alone when working remotely. Boomers can learn to master nearly any program or problem while remaining productive from home—without investing a lot in unnecessary tools or equipment.
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Courtney started gigspark.biz to be a resource and the first step for people who are looking to join the gig economy, either to supplement their income or as a way to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.