5 Digital Skills Needed In the Workplace

Oct. 21, 2021, 2:33 p.m.
With technology now becoming an integral part of our lives, it has impacted how we learn, work and interact in the professional environment. The vast majority of businesses in the UK are now operating both manually and online, meaning that the need for digital skills is essential when employers are recruiting for new talent.

Over the years, technology has massively been developed in favour of supporting businesses with increasing productivity, expanding their offering of services or products wider afield and also with the adaptation of meeting new demands from consumers. As these changes are evidently still continuing, it is important that jobseekers are up to date with their digital skills to ensure they meet the needs of employers.

Below, we have listed 5 digital skills that are needed in the majority of workplaces:

1. Online Safety and Security

Firstly, it is important to highlight that safety and security online is essential. Having basic awareness of the risks that could happen whilst online will show an employer that you understand what could go wrong, and how you can avoid it.

A few risks to be aware of could include: Data breaches, Confidentiality, Phishing, Hacking and Scams.

2. Communicating Online

With technology changing how the world communicates and interacts with each other on a daily basis, this has also impacted the way businesses communicate internally and externally. Before technology was introduced in the workplace, you would need to directly speak in person or over the telephone to be in contact with a colleague, or in some cases you'd need to write a letter! In comparison, businesses will now utilise online chat rooms, E-Mails or Video calling to communicate.

When recruiting, employers will be seeking candidates who present strong communication skills both on and offline. This could mean that you have the understanding of how to write a literate Email, or whether you know how to communicate via the latest apps and project management tools online.

You may already have learnt these skills when communicating in general life, with friends or family, however it is important to understand that you will need to adapt these skills to the professional environment by using different language or following certain communication procedures.

3. Researching and Problem Solving

There are over 5.6 billion searches on Google per day from across the globe.

Gone are the days when you needed to visit the library for research. You can now utilise search engines to answer almost any general question, discover news and even explore the latest products or services from other businesses. Having the ability to access data at an extremely fast rate has massively impacted the productivity of teams and has helped businesses solve problems a lot faster. When recruiting, employers will want to know that you are able to use resources and tools online to your advantage, and with any role you will need to be able to use technology to solve problems that may arise.

4. Handling and Processing Information

The majority of jobs will require you to deal with data at some point, whether it is customers contact details, or confidential medical records, you’ll be responsible for keeping that data safe and dealing with it in the correct way.

Having the ability to use a computer to enter data will be an extremely valuable skill to fulfil your role. Employers will be looking to see whether you pay good attention to detail, are able to input data at an efficient speed and whether you’re aware of confidentiality regulations or laws.

Make sure you clue yourself up on relevant data laws and regulations such as GDPR, which may impact the role you’re carrying out.

5. Ability to use computer systems efficiently

The majority of employers will expect candidates to have basic knowledge and understanding of how a computer works, and it is likely that over the past decade you have become familiar with using a computer. If you have never used a computer in a work related environment, make sure you are clued up on the popular apps and programmes such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint or the Google Suite.

If the business you’re looking to work for uses a specific software or piece of technology that you generally wouldn’t be familiar with, then they should be open to offering training to help you with carrying out your role.

If you’re looking to sharpen up your digital skills, our online courses for business may be able to help! Visit: https://www.wearegft.co.uk/courses/online/ to explore courses such as Cyber Security, Introducing GDPR or Social Media for Business.