Category Archives: Education

Work From Home: Work From Home Training

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And the series continues. I guess because I have A Lot Of Thoughts on this.

Me, I’ve worked from home (WFH) a lot, and I’ve had friends who have done it for over a decade. We’ve got certain work from home skills and abilities, that we probably don’t see as we’re used to them. I realized that recently, and it came to me that as we do more WFH people will need training to do it – and people probably aren’t ready.

How many of us actually are skilled at working from home? Because, in a world where WFH is comparatively rare, it means some of us lack the skillset – yes it’s a skillset.

Consider what WFH Skills include:

  • Time management on your own. Not as easy when you’re remote.
  • Phone etiquette and phone technology. Look, do we even use our phones for calls? When is it time to just text?
  • Proper use of chat programs as you can’t swing by desks. I’m talking not just sending messages, but replying.
  • Proper use of email as folks need to rely on it more (and trust me, a lot of us are terrible at it).
  • Proper use of tools for collaboration like Jira, Rally, and such. Those are even more vital for collaboration.
  • Use of documentation tools and proper use of documentation. Being able to hand someone a document is great for communication, but not if your writing is horrible.
  • Business processes and the like – because you can’t yell over your cube to ask someone “how do I do this?”
  • The psychology and manners of working from home.

Even typing that list i feel both exhausted and appreciative of those with good work from home skills. I’m sure you could write books on the skills, or run classes. Speaking of . . .

Organizations will need to ensure people are trained for WFH. The skills above need to be acquired by folks for any organization that wants or needs more WFH. These need to be learned intentionally; we’re in a rapid shift, and you can’t just hope people pick it up over time.

Note I say Organizations plural – because even in the post covid age, there will be more WFH for everyone. The business you work for will need this training, sure. But this will also be your church or temple, the con you do cosplay events for, and maybe even your gaming group. Every organization out there needs to be ready to teach people how to work from home.

This also means that there will be a whole new range of opportunities for people to write, teach, and educate. We’ll need guides and consulting services and people to teach work from home. Organizations will need to develop ways to improve WFH processes – or hire people that do. In fact, this might be a great chance for you to share your WFH knowledge with others!

But we’re going to need to train people to WFH, everywhere, and provide that education. This may be a bigger shift than people are ready for – but being ready is something we’ll need to be. WFH is here, there will be more, and in an age of climate change and pandemic, we’ll need to adapt.

It’s time to get educated.

Steven Savage

Julie Tyios Tells Us About Tech Girls Canada!

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Tech Girls Canada is an organization that advocates for women in STEM in Canada through various programs, advocacy, and events. I stumbled across it by accident in my CivicGeek work, and promptly discovered an amazing organization with fascinating people. Since we know there’s problems with female representation in STEM and related professions, let’s find out what people are doing to solve the problems. Julie Tyios, one of the co-founders, took the time to talk to us! Continue reading

How I Went In Search Of The IT Gap

 

OK, we all know the story, or at least those of us trying to hire people with IT skills do – there’s not enough people out there to hire! We can’t find anyone. Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, and those empty desks that should be filled with busy geeks.

If you haven’t heard this complaint you’re A) lucky, B) ignorant, C) a liar, or D) better at hiring than a lot of people – a whole lot of people.

For over a year I’ve been hearing that there’s some kind of IT hiring gap. This isn’t new of course, complaint about some kind of “skills gap” goes back for years in many fields.  I think I’ve been hearing about this for about four years, even when unemployment was higher.

However among these claims I’d occasionally hear a dissenting voice. That there’s not a gap, or that these claims were ways to get in cheap H1B visa employees, or someone had no trouble in hiring and just thought this was BS.  It made me wonder if this is for real.

Let’s face it, it’s important to know what the heck is actually going on in IT.  IT is vital to the economy.  It’s  close to we geeks who are so tied to technology industries and areas. Some of us want a damn job and we’d like to know what’s going ob.  Some of us are trying to hire people and want to know why it isn’t working.  If this gap is BS then people claiming there is one are ignorant, deceptive, or both and we’ like to know.

So is there an IT Gap, where we don’t have enough people to do the IT jobs of today? Continue reading