6 Essential Skills All Remote Workers Should Have
Ever heard the term “ideal candidate” in the job-hunting sphere? Questions like “what makes you the ideal candidate for the role” or “why should we hire you among all the other candidates” are asked in many job interviews.
While it doesn’t have any right or wrong answers, recruiters do want to hear about certain skills or characteristics that you have as a part of your answer. Just like all the other jobs, remote jobs also require certain hard and soft skills. Proving that you have these skills to the recruiters might even guarantee you that remote job you’ve wanted for so long.
What are these skills then? In this article, we rounded up six essential skills all remote workers should have.
1. Strong written and verbal communication
Communication is important in any job but even more so in remote jobs, as there are so many different types of communication involved. We can sum it up as written and verbal communication.
Written communication would include emails, Slack messages, Google Docs comments, and everything in between. And verbal communication would be video calls, phone calls, and audio messages. Every team uses different channels to communicate and has different practices in terms of communication.
The best way to improve your communication skills in a remote team is to get to know your team and their working style. By creating room to chat to understand them on a deeper level, you would strengthen your relationship with your colleagues, which certainly could make communication at work easier.
Working remotely means that you need to be organized. There is neither a manager nor a colleague that can check your progress or motivate you in a remote setting. Good organization and planning skills are crucial for remote workers—obtaining the perfect work-life balance would be impossible without them.
Remote workers need to organize their working hours and also, need to know when to stop. Since there is no physical office, some remote workers can feel like they’re at the office all the time. Statistics show that 25% of remote workers find it difficult to stop working. The European Union wants to recognize ‘the right to disconnect’ as a fundamental right as not being able to stop working can lead to depression or burnout.
In an office, the work environment itself can motivate you—coffee breaks with colleagues, having lunch with someone, or meetings within the company might boost your mood and encourage you to continue working. In a remote setting, you are mostly on your own. Being a self-starter and being autonomous enough to stay motivated is very important. You can do this by focusing on your goals, taking regular breaks, and staying connected to your remote colleagues.
If you really miss the office vibes, you can try working at a cafe or a coworking space instead of working from home. This type of environment might be motivating for you as you can socialize with other remote workers, network, and enjoy the amenities.
Self-motivation goes hand-in-hand with organization, the more you organize, the more you know your goals and what you’re doing. And the more you are motivated!
4. Collaboration and being a team-player
Remote teams often work in different locations and in different time zones all over the world. Being a part of a remote team is challenging as you won’t be able to see your colleagues as often. But it’s still possible to get to know them and build trust over time.
Remote workers who are team players shine through since they make everybody’s job easier by respecting deadlines, sharing ideas with the team, and using digital tools effectively. Plus, working remotely doesn’t mean that you will never ever see your colleagues—there are many remote companies that organize monthly or yearly meet-ups.
Adaptability is at the core of remote working. Remote work is constantly evolving and developing—this requires keeping up with the digital tools your team is using, constantly learning new things, and being open to change. You can also use adaptability to your advantage.
Since you’re working remotely, there are no set hours you have to be at the office, and depending on your job, you can work at any time of the day. You can take walks during lunchtime, pick up your kid from school, work out during the afternoon, and just organize yourself more freely. This also helps you to get to know your working style better—do you work better at night? Or do you like taking a lot of breaks? The flexibility that remote work offers helps you discover that.
Remote workers also need to be adaptable while solving problems. For example, let’s say there’s a power cut in your area. You will need to find a solution—would you look for a coffee shop that has internet? Would you find a way to inform your remote colleagues that there’s an exceptional circumstance that prevents you from working? Your call.
6. Technical knowledge
Technical knowledge is necessary for any job. In 2022, technical knowledge involves digital tools as well. Every team is different and they use different digital tools for different aspects of the job. For example, some teams use Asana for project management, others use Trello. Some use Zoom for video calls, and some use Microsoft Teams.
As digital tools will be used on a daily basis, remote workers need to be skilled enough to know how to access these tools and when to use which one. Besides, remote workers need to stay on top of the changes introduced by the team. Your team might decide that they will start using Toggl to track the employees’ hours to improve the team’s productivity. In this case, it would be your responsibility to find out more about Toggl and get back to your manager if you have any questions.
Do you think you have these essential skills?
You might be the ideal candidate for a remote job then! Make sure to mention these skills during your interview.
Where to next? Find monthly rentals designed for remote work professionals on Anyplace.
Yaren, a freelance writer from Cyprus, writes about travel, food, culture, and more. She is also a serial expat who has lived in five different countries and speaks four languages.