Some level of computer literacy is required in just about every job on the market today. Although employers expect new employees to have a basic knowledge of standard office software programs and internet capabilities, they prefer to see a higher level of competency beyond the basics. As a business owner, when you hire a new employee, you need to evaluate the level of computer literacy you need to get the job done, and the advantages associated with various skills.
Reduces Training Costs
As an employer, you need to consider the costs of onboarding an employee, such as those associated with the time and resources to train employees on required computer programs, processes and resources. If a prospect is already well-versed in the necessary programs for the job, the costs to train new employees drops, as well.
Of course, there may be certain proprietary programs that are company-specific. Although you might not be able to avoid training employees on these programs, the training becomes much more effective if that employee has a solid background in computer programs, since many programs have similarly functioning platforms. When a new employee is learning everything from the most basic skills to proprietary software, it takes longer to learn and can become frustrating for employees and employers alike.
New Employees Start Strong
Usually, you hire a new employee to fill a need. Ideally, the sooner that gap is filled, the faster your company or department can get back on track. When an employee comes in ready with the required computer literacy skills, she can sit down and get to work. The time required to ramp up and get started is dramatically reduced.
Productivity and Efficiency
Employees that are computer literate are generally more efficient workers, thus are more productive. There are times a person might need to know a trick he learned years ago; he might not need that trick every day but when he does it can save a lot of headaches and frustration. For example, most executive assistants are well-versed in most office suite programs such as Microsoft Office. This means that he knows more than the basics of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Assume you have been invited to speak to a local chamber of commerce about your company, and you ask your assistant to put together a PowerPoint presentation with text that slides in, while you are speaking. Being well-versed in software, he can probably figure out the process but being well-versed in the program itself might save him two to three hours of trial-and-error fiddling around, searching online for help or relying on help from colleagues or friends.
Make sure your plumber holds a current, relevant licence.
For many people, plumbing is that ‘dirty job that someone else has to do’. Because most people don't give a second thought to their plumbing until a problem arises, it's often not given the attention it deserves. In reality, plumbing is the one system that your home absolutely can't be without. It keeps your home clean, hygienic and safe, allows you to cook properly, and helps you regulate the temperature. Without plumbing you'd have no hot water, no gas to cook with, no flush toilets, no swimming pools and no air conditioners.
What do plumbers do?
The short answer is that they plan, install, maintain and repair all the systems in your house which allow water and gas to flow in and out. Consider where these systems exist: bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, laundries, swimming pools, braai areas, air conditioners and so forth - all around your home. What you generally see with all of these systems is the end fixture - the toilet, the air conditioner unit and the kitchen sink.
What you don't often see is all of the piping, valves and fittings that allow these systems to work. These have been carefully selected, arranged and installed inside your wall cavities by plumbers and gasfitters, to allow your plumbing to operate effectively, quietly, and in a way that keeps you and your family safe.
Why can't I fix or install my own plumbing?
There's a lot more to plumbing than meets the eye, and the way that plumbing works is very carefully regulated in South Africa in order to keep it safe.
Sewage and waste, for example, have to be managed carefully in order to avoid the dangers of exposure to harmful bacteria and poisonous gases. Natural and LPG gas are highly combustible, and require special care and procedures to avoid ignition or explosions.
Regulations also exist to ensure that the water in your hot water tank is of a sufficient temperature to prevent the growth of dangerous legionella bacteria. At the same time, your plumbing also needs to incorporate valves that limit the temperature of the water coming out from your shower, so that it won't burn the skin from your back.
All of these conditions and precautions are just a sample of why any and all plumbing must be done by a licensed plumber in South Africa. Taking matters into your own hands, even for a job that looks simple on the surface, could very easily lead to disastrous damage to your property, or even injury or death. It's also likely to spoil any chance of an insurance claim if things do go wrong.
To reiterate: for all plumbing work (beyond perhaps changing a tap), you need to hire a licensed plumber.
Written by our experts at KOST.
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