Remote work. That is – working from home, cafes, coworking spaces, or even from that fanciful French loft that’s been sitting on your Airbnb bucket list for the past 3 years. (cause we can all use a little Chardonnay, am I right?), has seen an EXPLOSION in popularity as of late.
Driven by equal-parts pandemic, cost-effectiveness, and the overall push for better work/life balance – remote work has been on an upward trend since even before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Having grown tired and weary of mundane Mondays, endless traffic, and dare-I-say, pointless small talk with folks they probably don’t even like, people have come to the conclusion that there has to be a more effective solution to this work/life problem. That solution is remote work.
The benefits of a remote job are countless:
- More time with family
- Less time and money spent on commuting
- More time for other interests, hobbies, and passion projects
- Flexible schedules
- Work from anywhere in the world
- Build a career without ever having to set foot in an office
- Travel while still making money (while still working on your career)
And so on.
Remote work opens up many different options for people and allows them to live a more rich and more fulfilling life.
After spending 9 months in Mexico last year, I had the pleasure of meeting remote workers from every walk of life and every nook and cranny on the planet.
This inspired me to also pursue a life of more freedom. Financial freedom, geographical freedom, mental freedom, and what I like to call “undal” freedom. (okay, that’s not a word but what I really mean is working from your undies 😉 )
This yearning led me to start my search for a remote-work position which inevitably got me the position I work at today – working remotely at a digital marketing agency.
One common thread, throughout my search, was that employers were seeking individuals with common underlying personality traits and soft skills. The core capabilities that enable them to grow an efficient and productive career working fully remotely.
In this article, we’ll explore 3 valuable skills of successful remote workers
Effective Time management Skills
The ability to effectively manage your time is beneficial across the board. It benefits you, it benefits your employer, and it benefits your family as well, opening up even more time to spend with them after working hours are over.
Working remotely means you don’t have your boss or colleagues checking in on you (like that nosey nancy we all hate from down the hall). This means it’s all up to you to hone in on your work and make sure you’re a good steward of your time.
If you find this difficult, it might be useful to tap into some productivity hacks like the Pomodoro Technique, which allows you to take frequent breaks while focusing during longer periods. (and not pull those last 5 hairs out)
Adaptability is a must for remote workers. One day you might be working on a project with an upcoming deadline that requires you to confer with a colleague that’s stationed in Asia (that’s an 11 hr difference if you’re in the eastern timezone and your colleague is in Bangkok).
Another day you might be working from that fanciful French loft you love or in a coworking space and encounter problems with the wifi.
Unexpected challenges can easily arise when working remotely. In order to be a well-rounded and successful remote worker, it’s important you get good at solving problems and becoming more adaptable
Strong Written & Verbal Communication
It might go without saying, but strong written and verbal communication skills are part and parcel of remote work. The majority of your communication is done through writing emails, Slack messages, text messages, and even through social media channels. It’s SUPER duper important to have clear, concise writing that conveys your message appropriately.
Be sure to check your grammar and punctuation and conduct yourself professionally to the given company culture you’re working with.
Some companies (like my amazing employer) allow for a more relaxed tone in virtual office spaces like Slack and call for more professionalism in emails. It’s important to “read the room” and be sure you’re communicating appropriately with clients and coworkers.
There ya have it!
Three common skills that can help you become a successful remote, or work-from-home (#wfm) worker
Implementing time management techniques, improving your communication skills, and becoming more adaptable will take you a long way toward becoming a successful remote worker.
For more on remote work, be sure to check out the best four places to find remote work in 2022
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a remote worker? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!