The cost of housing and the desire for parents to give their kids some backyard and fresh air is driving families to the outer suburbs or regional areas and these days it’s very possible to work remotely.

The problem for many employers has traditionally been how to make sure that the work is actually getting done! Here are some good skills to have.

Customer Service & Communications

Most of the jobs which can be performed remotely with you working from home must have a way of tracking that the work is being done and this is done easily these days with online cloud services.

Customer service and communicating with customers is easy for large enterprises because they have their own software systems that employees simply plug into and continue their work. Many back end processes such as loan applications that are performed by banking staff can and are performed at home.

Loan application processing

I was speaking with a remote worker for BankWest recently and even went to pay them a visit and was surprised at how diligent they were in giving me their time. I discovered that this is because while they are plugged into the system they will continuously receive inbound calls or need to flag that they are unavailable if they are performing administration tasks for a loan application.

That’s easy for big businesses but what can small businesses do?

ZenDesk website chat and support tickets

ZenDesk has been a leading support ticket software program for a long time. Their software is cloud-based and used by large and small businesses alike, including for our online training course student support.

This software enables staff to work from anywhere an just log in to answer customer service questions using the website chat feature or support queries using the support ticketing system.

There are now hundreds of different webchat and support ticket providers and here are just a few:

  • Tawk.to
  • Intercom
  • Olark
  • LivePerson
  • PureChat
  • OmniChat
  • ClickDesk
  • Kayako

Audio & Video Communication

VoIP Telephone systems have been around for over a decade and with the NBN most telephone PBX systems work in the Cloud (over the Internet) and remote workers can simply plug an IP Phone into their own internet router and talk to customers from home.

Along with that there are lots of other tools that most individuals use and small business can take advantage of these communication tools easily and cheaply. They include:

  • Zoom
  • Webex
  • Messenger
  • Skype
  • WhatsApp
  • Facetime
  • Duo

Collaborate and Work together on Projects

Project management is a skills used in a lot of startups or for technical people who need to stay focused on goals, milestones and specific outcomes. Sometimes these are for software or app development, digital marketing campaigns or even working on projects like a company’s annual report document.

The tools to help remote workers get the job done and keep everyone in the loop and on the same page can start off simply with cloud-based storage like Dropbox, Google G Drive and Microsoft’s One drive. Combined with Microsoft Office or Google G Suite these office productivity tools enable multiple people to work on the one file without having to worry too much about keeping track of changes and version control!

When you get more complex you’ll start to work with new tools like:

  • Asana
  • Slack
  • Confluence
  • Jira
  • BaseCamp
  • Trello
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Workplace (from Facebook)
work from home remotely & as a virtual assistant

As you can see there are plenty of different software programs to help keep you connected to your team, updated on the progress of projects and able to communicate with customers, suppliers and other staff whether they are working remotely or in the office.

Get information about working remotely from home as a remote contractor

Get the Career Academy tools to find a job you’re passionate about and read our blog posts about working remotely from home. If you’ve ever considered working as a virtual assistant you’ll find that being a virtual assistant is the same as working home remotely – it’s just the Aussie term for someone who does it as a business.