If you’re serious about getting a work at home job, your typing skills may need improvement. After all, most work at home jobs require at least some time on a computer. More often than not, at-home workers spend the majority of their work day on the computer entering data, researching, writing, and doing other computer-related tasks.
If your typing isn’t up to speed (excuse the pun), you may be hurting your chances of landing the perfect work from home job. Start with a typing speed test to gauge your current speed, and then start improving your typing skills.
Most companies that offer computer jobs require their at-home workers to have a typing speed of at least 50 words per minute (WPM). Even jobs where you wouldn’t necessarily think of typing speed as an important asset, like telecommunications jobs, do require at least some computer work and a minimum typing speed.
I’ve seen plenty of remote jobs ask applicants to take a typing skills test as part of their application. Although some may not disqualify an applicant based on their typing speed alone, it’s possible that your typing skills weigh heavily on their decision. Hence, the importance of honing in on this skill before you start applying for jobs.
Learn Where Your Fingers Go
Remember those typing skills programs you used to use in Computers 101? They weren’t just for earning a useless grade; they do actually help you learn the proper finger placement so you can type faster. Typing shouldn’t be about plucking away at the keys as you stare at the keyboard.
Proper finger placement helps train your brain to learn where each key is so you won’t ever have to look at the keyboard and, instead, can focus on the monitor. You know, where your eyes belong. There are plenty of free typing lessons online that will help you get started.
Typing Skills Practice Time
Once you learn where your fingers need to go, you should spend time practicing. Free online tests usually offer plenty of helpful exercises that not only get you typing faster but also make it fun. Some websites offer games that test your abilities in a variety of ways but also make your practice sessions less tedious.
I suggest practicing with everyday things that use a lot of different letters and special characters. Grab a short article from a magazine and time yourself as you type it. Avoid looking at the keyboard as much as possible and tally up any mistakes you have when you’re done. Once you get faster at typing easy paragraphs, challenge yourself with more difficult text, like recipes. Recipes use numbers and special characters, plus have several unique formatting differences, that will put your skills to the test.
Keep Your Hands Healthy
One of the biggest downfalls of frequent typing – and computer use in general – is pain from repetitive use. Your posture can suffer tremendously, as can your wrists, hands, and fingers.
When you type, your hands, fingers, and wrists are actually doing something quite unnatural. It’s important to take frequent breaks to avoid serious injury. If you have to, set a timer for once every half an hour. Get up, walk around for a couple of minutes, and stretch your hands and arms. Roll your wrists in a circular motion to get all the kinks worked out.
Make sure you also have a comfortable desk and chair. Consider purchasing a padded mouse pad and wrist pad for your keyboard so your hands always have a comfortable area to rest as you type and use the computer. By keeping your hands and fingers in shape, you’ll avoid pain as you type so you can stay speedy.
Working from home often requires consistent skill upkeep and improvement, and your typing skills are just one set of skills that can set you apart from the rest. These pointers should get you moving more quickly on the keyboard. But, there are also plenty of in-person computer classes you can take if you want to go that route.