Remote work has changed a lot about the workday. Employer and employee expectations have both shifted to account for new workflows, processes, and communication styles. Additionally, remote work looks different between various employers distributed throughout the globe.
One commonality between many remote jobs is the remote work skills workers need to succeed. We’ve put together a list of some must-have skills for those looking to work from home.
Workplace adaptability means being able to adjust quickly and easily to organizational changes. For remote workers, this means being able to adjust to new workflows, personnel changes, or other shifts in processes without losing productivity or motivation.
Example of adaptability at work: A director at your company suddenly resigns. Though you have questions about the change, you’re still able to complete the work you have on your plate for the day.
How to build adaptability: Practicing mindfulness can help you build up your adaptability in the workplace. Mindfulness exercises like meditation can help you increase your sense of calm, which helps you go with the flow.
Empathy means the ability to recognize another person’s emotions or feelings and understand or appreciate their perspective.
In the workplace, this means you’ll be able to understand if a person is stressed or burnt out, work with others to solve problems, and listen to your coworkers to better understand their needs.
Example of empathy at work: A coworker has been missing their deadlines for a few weeks. When you ask why, they say they’ve been feeling burnt out. Empathy allows you to see their perspective and work together to solve the problem.
How to build empathy: Communication is key to building empathy. Have conversations with your coworkers to practice active listening.
While it’s true that every office runs on effective communication, it’s especially so for remote offices. When working with coworkers you don’t see very often (if at all), you’ll need to learn how to communicate in a way that is clear, helpful, and personable.
This can be a challenge to do via online platforms, but you can build remote asynchronous communication skills with some practice.
Example of communication at work: You don’t understand a portion of a project assigned to you. You reach out to the coworker who assigned the task to get a better understanding of what you need to do.
How to build communication skills: Challenge yourself to ask questions, voice your needs, and get to know your coworkers better. Try to message a coworker to check in at least once per week.
Independence means the ability to complete tasks without needing assistance and taking the initiative to solve problems on your own. For remote teams—especially those distributed throughout the globe that aren’t in the same time zone—this is a necessity.
Independence allows you to complete your tasks without any hand-holding from your manager.
Example of independence at work: You aren’t quite sure how to proceed on a part of the project, but you make a judgment call and can complete it with the details you were given.
How to build independence: Seek out the answers to any questions you have in internal documents or training materials. If you get stuck, complete a project then ask for feedback on what you did right or wrong.
Motivation means the drive to get things done. So, without a boss physically present in your office, you’ll need some motivation to do your job from home.
Motivation will drive remote workers to log on in the morning, complete tasks to the best of their ability, and remain present to support their team.
Example of motivation at work: You always turn your work in on time and do it to the best of your ability.
How to build motivation: Find work that interests you and makes you want to do your job well. Ask for a raise or promotion if you meet certain benchmarks or criteria.
Time management is the ability to use your time wisely. This means knowing what to prioritize, how to use your time efficiently, and how to keep yourself from getting distracted during the workday.
Time management also helps with work-life balance, as those who manage their time are more likely to set working hours and not work late.
Example of time management at work: You have two projects due on the same day. You judge the length and difficulty of each to determine which order to complete them in.
How to build time management: Heighten your focus by eliminating distractions like social media during your workday. Stay on track by scheduling out your tasks in a project management system.
Emotional intelligence means being in tune with your own emotions. People who are emotionally intelligent are able to calm themselves down, relieve stress, communicate effectively, and listen to others.
In a remote workplace, emotional intelligence can help you handle your own stress levels while being a productive teammate.
Example of emotional intelligence at work: Your coworker is doing something that you find aggravating. Instead of yelling at them, you calmly explain why it bothers you and ask them to stop.
How to build emotional intelligence: Practice deep breathing, especially when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
Reliability means your boss, coworkers, clients, or anyone else you come into contact with during your workday can count on you to do your part.
Reliability is especially important in remote settings where there isn’t much oversight or you do not have constant communication with your boss or coworkers.
Example of reliability at work: You meet your deadlines — or send a message in advance when you’re not going to meet them.
How to build reliability: Be honest about your ability and bandwidth to finish projects. If you can’t get something done on time, explain why, say no, or ask for more time.
Organization is a boon to any employee. But in the digital realm, organization is crucial to stay on top of your tasks and manage your work. You should keep your digital workspace like your Google Drive, calendars, or any other virtual tools you use to keep organized, while also maintaining a routine or to-do list that helps with prioritization.
Example of organization: At the start of each day, you check your calendar to budget your time and sort through your to-do lists for the day.
How to build organization: Create a to-do list on paper or a virtual planning tool to stay on top of your tasks.
Digital literacy is the ability to work, learn, and communicate on digital platforms. This is a must for remote workers whose jobs are usually entirely online. Digital literacy makes you able to easily understand and use the virtual tools that your company employs.
Example of digital literacy at work: Your company switches from one project management platform to another. Though the platforms are different, your basic knowledge of computers allows you to pick it up quickly.
How to build digital literacy: Watch tutorials or sign up for training sessions that focus on how to use digital tools.
Looking for remote work isn’t much different than looking for an in-office or hybrid role. But as more employees are specifically seeking out positions they can do from the comfort of their homes, listing remote work skills and experience on your resume helps you attract remote employers.
Here are some tips for making remote work stand out on your resume:
- Include remote work skills like those listed above in your “special skills” section.
- Include the city you worked in for each of your previous roles, making sure to write “remote” beside any remote jobs you’ve had.
- Include an interest in remote work or experience working from home in your resume summary.
- Create an additional experience section just for remote or hybrid roles.
To gain perspective on what real business leaders and HR professionals look for in their remote workforces, we asked just over 200 of them their opinions on the best skills for remote work.
The most common responses were:
- Communication (38%)
- Digital Literacy (18%)
- Independence (16%)
- Time Management (16%)
- Motivation (15%)
This shows that managers are looking for employees who can perform their jobs without much guidance and can manage their time effectively while still being an active participant and good communicator in the office.
Remote work is attractive for employees and managers alike. So whether you’re a remote job seeker who wants to explore the globe while keeping a full-time job or a manager who wants to open your business up to the global talent pool, consider working with a compliance partner who can make sure you’re up to speed.
Contact us to see how we can assist in your remote work journey.