29 Sep 6 Important Skills For Remote Work
There are a few key skills that can help you excel in a remote work environment. Whether you’re currently working or searching for a job, focusing on building and developing these skills will help you thrive in a remote workplace. For job seekers, highlighting these skills in an interview can help set you apart from other candidates. If you’re currently employed, demonstrating excellence in these skills could put you on a path for a raise, promotion, or bonus.
Your ability to self-manage.
When working remotely, you’re on your own much more than they you would be in an office setting. Because of that, being able to manage yourself becomes an incredibly valuable skill. Be intentional about how you get organized for the week ahead, how you plan your days, ways you hold yourself accountable, and how you keep yourself on track if you find that you’re becoming distracted.
Your ability to motivate yourself.
Working from home requires you to be an expert in self-motivation to ensure that you meet goals and deadlines without requiring constant monitoring. You need to be able to hold yourself accountable for getting work done properly in a timely manner and working cohesively as part of a team without too much assistance from your manager. Being able to successfully motivate yourself means that you can power through the tougher days and still get work done even when you really don’t feel like it.
Virtual communication is much more than just Zoom meetings, Slack, and email. It’s about being able to speak, write, and listen well via phone, video, text, and email. An excellent virtual communicator has the ability to convey their message clearly across any channel, regardless of if it’s spoken or written. You need to be comfortable switching between platforms, which means both your speaking and writing skills need to be on point.
Problem solving is always a desirable skill, and it becomes even more valuable in a remote workplace. Even if problem solving isn’t a part of your day to day work responsibilities, it’s a skill you’ll use more often than you might expect. For example in the office, if your laptop freezes you can ask a colleague for help or have IT take a look if they’re onsite. At home, it’s up to you to find a solution, and that’s where your problem solving skills will become a necessity. There are many times throughout the workday that you’ll find yourself exercising your problem solving muscle.
The ability to disconnect.
Perhaps the most valuable skill for remote work is the ability to disconnect from work. With home and work being in the same place, it’s easy to lose sight of where one ends and the other begins. Being ‘always on’ is a direct path to job dissatisfaction, increased stress, and ultimately burnout. You need to create boundaries to be able to focus on work during business hours and also be able to fully stop at the end of the day. Learning to do this helps you avoid burnout and has an added bonus of increasing productivity during your workday.
Highlighting your transferrable skills can help you land a remote job. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have prior remote work experience, as there are many skills that are transferrable. Chances are you’re already quite familiar with many of the tech tools being used for remote work like Zoom and Slack, and depending on the preferred method of communication at your workplace, you might also already be skilled in communicating virtually as well. To highlight how your skills can be transferrable, frame it in a way of what you did in the traditional workplace and how you’d adapt it when working remotely.
If you’re a skilled communicator, show how you’ve taken your face to face communication skills and used them virtually. Explain how you’d communicate differently (or not) in a virtual meeting. If your kids have been in school remotely, helping them get set up is a transferrable skill. Not only did you have to learn how to use new software or tech tools, but you helped your kids learn how to do that as well. That shows that you can both learn and teach others – both valuable skills in any work environment.