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IT skills and homeworkers
Training services provider Training Synergy wants more organisations to invest in training for homeworkers in basic PC skills and networking to help reduce downtime and take the pressure off technical support.
Working from home offers advantages to both employees and employers but, in today's technology-dependent work culture, any technology problems - encountered away from the organisation's IT department - can cause anything from worker frustration to serious productivity problems.
According to Training Synergy's David Field: "Not only does homeworking offer a financial benefit but it also facilitates the movement for work life balance and improves the potential for staff diversity.
"While the benefits and potential risks are well known and documented, one of the major areas that tends to be overlooked is the need for homeworkers to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of both applications and basic PC awareness
"Being dependent on laptops, PCs and all the other paraphernalia that go with today's technology-dominated and facilitated workplace means that small technology-related issues can soon render a homeworker helpless and unproductive."
"Often the most frustrating problems can be simply solved as long as the homeworker knows the basics," said Field, who cited a number of courses and accreditations available for learning these basic skills.
"There's the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) and, soon, there will be the ICDL, ITQ - the new NVQ for IT - along with other accreditations," Field said. "Training Synergy also offers a course for homeworkers which not only delivers PC and networking basic skills but also ties these in with the homeworker's organisation's best practice processes and procedures."
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