5 Basic IT Skills that All Your Employees Should Have

By December 15, 2017 Business

Being familiar with everyday technology is no longer something that only specialists and enthusiasts need to worry about. In today’s technology-centric world, it’s vital for your employees to have basic computing skills that allow them to perform well in the workplace and keep up with the fast-paced changes facing modern businesses.

#1. Word Processing

Creating and editing business documents without any word-processing skills is sure to lead to hours of frustration and lost productivity. Fortunately, there aren’t many different applications to learn, since Microsoft Word has long been the industry standard. A basic working knowledge of Google Docs is also important, although the learning curve is minimal thanks to its largely familiar interface.

While learning how to use everyday word-processing functions such as spellcheckers, header and footer editing, and inserting graphics is important, the most important skill is typing. Good touch-typing skills are in the decline in everyday use, due to the increasing ubiquity of speech recognition and touchscreen devices, but they remain essential in the business environment.

#2. Data Entry

It might not sound like the most glamorous of computing skills, but the ability to enter data quickly and efficiently is something that every business relies on. No company is complete without databases of things like payroll information and customer contact details. While it might not always be necessary to learn advanced spreadsheet functions, a basic knowledge of data entry is a must for most business software.

Learning how to create, edit, and use spreadsheets is one of the most basic data entry skills. Microsoft Excel, being the go-to software, is usually where most people start. Google’s web-based offering Sheets is also popular thanks to its collaborative features that allow anyone with a Google account to work on the same spreadsheets simultaneously.

#3. Security and Privacy

Online security and privacy should be at the forefront of any business IT strategy and employee training process. With so much important business data stored on your company computers and cloud-based systems, it’s imperative that your employees fully understand the risks facing your business and how to mitigate them. That’s why ongoing training is critical for anyone in your company who uses computers for work.

Many people are already aware of some of the more common online threats, such as phishing scams and malicious software. However, many other security threats will go unnoticed among the uninitiated. For this reason, it’s important to raise awareness and create a culture of learning and accountability in your business.

#4. Email Clients

Most people use web-based email clients like Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail for personal use, but desktop email clients still dominate in the workplace. Business email clients offer many important extra features, such as archiving, offline functionality, and better security features. However, they’re quite different from web-based clients, and there are many different options on the market.

Some popular email clients include Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail. While they’re all similar in terms of core functionality, they do have subtle differences that employees might take time to become accustomed to. Complete familiarity with the email clients your company uses is critical for maintaining clear communications and avoiding mishaps.

#5. Search Engines

Virtually everyone who has ever used the internet knows how to use a search engine, but there’s a lot more to Google than you might think. While modern search engines are designed with ease of use in mind, they still offer some advanced functions that can be useful in the workplace. Employees who know how to use these functions will be much better at finding results quickly.

The ability to finetune search results using operators such as * for wildcards and Boolean commands like AND, OR and NOT can save a lot of time in certain situations. However, Google also provides more user-friendly functions in its advanced search section that allow users to search for results by time, relevance, location, and more.

All these skills might seem elementary, but there’s a lot more to IT than meets the eye. That’s why your business needs a team of experienced and skilled professionals to see to the inner workings of your technology infrastructure. If you’re looking for IT services you can depend on, contact Truewater today.

Truewater

Truewater

Truewater was established in 2001 with the vision of bringing enterprise class IT support to small and medium sized businesses.

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