Everyone’s Got an Office

For those without an interest or background in information technology, one of the biggest barriers to finding employment in the digital age is being able to use Microsoft Office. Some 83% of enterprises and businesses worldwide use Microsoft Office and related software in their day-to-day operations, from the simple e-mail and calendar tasks that Outlook provides, through to more complicated accounting and invoicing through Excel.

Not being able to use Word poses a problem for most too. How does one submit a CV or fill in a pre-made application form without it these days? Especially with the cost of Office being a barrier for entry… or at least, that point used to be true. Although a fully-fledged version of Office still costs a few bob, a free online version is available to everyone. All you need is an Outlook.com e-mail account, and you have access to Microsoft Office Online.

Gaining access to Office Online is so simple. When you’re logged into your Outlook.com account, instead of going off to look at your e-mail, check out the small grid in the top left corner of the screen. This is commonly known as the Waffle, because it looks a bit like a waffle, unsurprisingly. Clicking on this gives you access to all the tools you could possibly need – Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, OneNote Online and so on.

Click on Word Online. Doesn’t it look like the real thing? And the great thing is, these looks aren’t deceiving. Although it’s not got as many features or as complicated, you can still use Word to write a letter, CV, or document, and it all automatically saves straight to OneDrive – Microsoft’s Cloud facility – so you can pick up and go from any Internet-enabled device anywhere in the world, providing you can log into your Outlook.com account.

At Positive People, we understand cost is a barrier as much as knowledge, so we’re always looking for the best value for money for our participants. Office Online represents the perfect option – it’s free, but allows users to get a feel for the Microsoft Office packages they would use in an office based job, and it gets them on their first step to applying for a job by writing a CV and covering letter using it.