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I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

As more businesses consider making remote work a permanent feature of their workplaces, it’s important for leadership teams to understand the core elements of what makes up a successful remote team. There are several.

Two of these elements are what I refer to as non-negotiable skills. Skills which have to be present in order for the team to be successful at working remotely.

The first is Digital Literacy, which I like to define as the “ability an individual has to use digital technology and communication tools appropriately to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information and communicate with others.”

The second skill is Digital Fluency. This goes beyond literacy. Someone who is digitally fluent can not only select the right digital tools for a specific job or communication but can also explain WHY it is the best tool to use and additionally, be able to explain how they might adapt the use of that tool if the context of the job or communication changes.

Understanding digital fluency vs digital literacy can be helped by thinking of the process involved in learning a new language. When a person is literate in a language they can usually read, speak, and listen for understanding in the language. A fluent person on the other hand can do all this AND create something in the new language: a story, a poem, a play, or a conversation. In other words they are not only literate but also comfortable enough with the language to “DJ it,” ie mix it up to create something new.

Similarly, digital literacy is understanding how to use the tools at ones disposal whereas digital fluency is the ability to comfortably create something new with those tools if necessary.

With these definitions in mind, how is your teams digital literacy and fluency? The more literate and fluent the more successful they will be at using all the technology that makes up a digital workplace to work from anywhere.

As always do reach out to if you would like to discuss how to determine or improve both these for your team.