5 Most Important Skills for Remote Employees

With the threat of the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, it looks like remote work will continue to be the new normal for the short-term future. However, even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, some of the changes it’s brought about may be here to stay. Many people have discovered advantages to working from home, and employers might be thinking that the overheads saved on running an office property are too attractive to pass up. Whatever the outcome, remote work is like a regular job, in that there are important skills to have for ensuring your businessman profile remains unblemished. Carry on reading for a look at these important skills remote employees need to stay competitive on the job market to ensure they’re not missing a beat outside the office.

Source: Unsplash

1. Written Communication

One of the most obvious effects of remote work is that most communication between team members is written, rather than spoken. This could take the form of emails, texts and group chats. In these instances, it’s important that you brush up on the most important communication skills to make sure sloppy copy isn’t showing you up. Make sure to double-check grammar, spelling and punctuation every time before hitting the “send” button. You also need to make sure you’re employing the proper tone in your messages that’s appropriate for the audience you’re speaking to. In-jokes and puns could lighten the mood with other members of your team, but it’s questionable whether a chief executive would consider them important skills.

2. Collaboration

Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean that you’re flying solo. You still need to bring the same important skills for a job to the table and prove yourself as a team player just like you would in the office. However, without a shared space to collaborate face-to-face, making your contributions heard can sometimes prove challenging. Teamwork skills are important, so the solution is to proactively engage with the available communication channels whilst avoiding the temptation to overwhelm your colleagues. Most businesses should have plenty of tools available to make this happen: shared file indexes, project management software, and group chats all provide an opportunity for effective cooperation. Get familiar with these important computer skills to help you make the most of the different features on offer.

3. Focus

Working from home definitely offers some advantages as far as convenience goes, but it also presents a whole-new set of pitfalls that require important skills to navigate. Without the act of going to work to create a physical barrier between professional and personal life, it can be harder to get in the zone and produce your best work. The normal distractions of domestic life can come at you from every direction, whether they be pets, children, roommates or noisy neighbors. So it’s no surprise most people will find it impossible to completely insulate themselves from their immediate environment. Your first step to tackling this problem should be looking at ways you can mitigate these sensory distractions. Noise-canceling headphones have proven themselves to be a lifesaver during lockdown, especially if you’ve got lots of heads under your roof. Taking the time to optimize your workspace is also important; working from your bed might seem convenient, but blurring the divide between your work and home life can make both suffer in the long term. Set up a home office in a clean, quiet corner of your home and declutter it as much as possible. When inevitable interruptions do call your attention away, learn to prioritize important skills on the fly. That way, you can establish if a problem really merits taking time away from your work.

4. Time Management

Successful time management is one of the important skills to have in life, and can pay dividends for both you and your employer. Without the watchful eye of coworkers or management, it can be all too easy to lose perspective or start subconsciously slacking at your work. This is the time for you to become your own supervisor and stay aware of your immediate workload, as prioritization is one of the most important skills to have. If you often find your attention flagging, consider using some apps that boost productivity and help manage time. Try and dedicate set hours of the day as focus periods where you aim to complete the single most important task in your workload. While being available to your colleagues is one of the important skills for a job, try not to get too sidetracked with constant communication when you could be getting work done. Many people find it helpful to work in short sprints broken up by small breaks to help maintain their attention. Ultimately, you need to find the methods that work best for your particular situation, so play around with some of these suggestions until you find an approach that clicks.

5. Adaptability

One of the biggest advantages of remote work is the flexibility it affords, but that can cut both ways. You need to be prepared to adapt to new methods of work, important skills, on-the-fly changes, and unforeseen circumstances. For example, you might find yourself dealing with a department in a different time zone, which could impact your workflow and require you to take meetings at odd hours. You might also have some local challenges to overcome, like internet connections dropping out, or faulty logins occurring. Tenacity is not one of the important skills to list on a resume, but it can make a big difference to the overall impact of your work. Make sure that you know who to get in contact with when these situations crop up, and prepare a backup plan in advance where possible. Sometimes circumstances may force you to get creative, but that comes with the territory when you’re trying to use important skills to stay agile.

Conclusion: Think Like a Boss

Source: Unsplash

Remote work looks like it’s here to stay, so the sooner we get up to speed with the challenges it presents, the quicker we can thrive with the new arrangement and familiarize ourselves with the important skills it requires. In many ways, working from home makes us a lot more responsible for our workloads when we don’t have managers or colleagues breathing down our necks. That’s why we need to get effective at becoming our own supervisors. Manifest the most important leadership skills for yourself to ensure that we’re not letting domestic distractions throw us off our purpose. Have you found it hard adapting to remote work? Maybe you have some tips to work more effectively? Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

Author's Bio

Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.