You’ve decided that you want to work virtually – the question is, are you capable of doing so?

One of the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly be the way that society approaches the concept of working ‘virtually,’ or working from home (WFH). Many industries that were previously based out of office environments have transitioned to WFH on a permanent or hybrid basis, and it may surprise you to know that there are even positions in healthcare that can be worked virtually as well. Of course, there are many benefits to virtual work (such as no travel/commute and a better work/life balance), and it’s safe to say that the majority of people who have the option of working virtually will choose to do so. However, before you apply for that virtual position, be sure to ask yourself the following question: are you ready and able from a technical standpoint to work a virtual job? Read on to find out what we mean, and as always, be sure to check out RPI’s blog every day for hot job opportunities, healthcare news, and more!

Speed matters

A major aspect of virtual work is the need to be connected to the internet at all times, usually via a laptop or desktop computer. To that end, it’s recommended that you only apply for virtual positions if you have regular access to high-speed internet – not only will you need to be connected in order to do your work, you’ll probably be expected to participate in regular video calls on Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, etc. Even if your internet is capable of things like high download speeds and great streaming video (such as Netflix), this doesn’t necessarily mean that it can also provide high upload speeds as well. The majority of cheap internet provider plans likely won’t offer the necessary upload speeds that you’ll require to effectively work in a virtual setting, and if you live in a more remote or rural area, this will also have an effect on your speeds.

It’s also important to remember that your internet upload speeds can be adversely affected by other applications in your home, such as security cameras (Nest, Ring, etc), multiple smartphones, streaming devices, etc.  Ultimately, if you choose to apply for a virtual job, you need to ensure that your internet connection is capable of letting you conduct your work with zero to minimal interruptions, especially if you’re working in the healthcare industry. We recommend running a speed test on your internet to ensure that it can meet your virtual work needs – if your upload speed is on the lower end of the meter, you’ll want to look at upgrading.

Older technology need not apply

When you’re working in an office setting, your workplace will usually supply you with all of the technology and tools that you’ll need to effectively carry out your work. However, when you’re working virtually, you generally need to rely on the tools that you already have at home – your laptop or desktop computer, your cell phone etc. It’s very important to ensure that these tools are capable of handling your workload – for example, if you’re running a 10-year-old Macbook Pro, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to use that computer for your virtual work. Your cell phone, too, will need to stand in for a traditional office phone, so if you’re still using an older model iPhone or Android, you may want to consider upgrading, especially if your work will require you to download and use any mobile apps. And while it may seem like a small thing, it’s also important to pick the right internet browser. We highly recommend something like Google Chrome or Safari, and if you’re still one of the holdouts that’s using an ancient version of Internet Explorer (IE), it’s time to move on!

The fact is that in this day and age, virtual work is and will be much more prevalent than it’s been in the past. So if you’ve been waiting for the right time to go out and upgrade your computer and/or mobile phone, we strongly suggest that you do so before you begin applying to any virtual positions.

In closing

At the end of the day, it’s a simple fact that not everyone is going to be capable of working virtually. If you don’t have a more recent computer or phone, and if your high-speed internet isn’t very high-speed at all, you will likely have issues with conducting your work in a timely and efficient manner.

With that said, if you think that you’re able to meet the rigorous demands of virtual work, RPI would love to hear from you! Send your resume jobs@rpigroup.ca, and one of our friendly Account Managers will be in touch with you.

 

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