- Searching for remote work used to seem like a fantastic idea, but today the number of virtual companies is growing every day.
- To be a successful remote worker, you will need excellent communication skills, and you yourself must be comfortable talking on the phone and video calls all the time.
- In addition, you need to be good at technology and responsible with your time. And to be happy, you need to know how and when to stop working at the end of the day.
Finding a completely remote job used to seem like a fantastic idea, but today the number of virtual companies is growing every day, as is the number of their employees. If you’ve been dreaming of getting a remote job, now is the time to sit down and think about whether this option is right for you, whether you have the skills needed to work from home – or, as with the most adventurous employees, to work from anywhere in the world.
So, what will it take for you to get, and then properly handle, remote work? Here are a few of the most important qualities you will need to succeed.
1. Good communication skills
One of the main challenges of virtual teams is maintaining regular, open, and clear communication. The more people on your team, the harder it is to achieve. To be a successful remote worker, you will need excellent communication skills. This means you must be comfortable with regular phone and video conversations, as these are the most common way to maintain human contact and build virtual team relationships.
You will be constantly reviewing a mass of e-mails, online chats, and tasks, since most of your responsibilities will come in written form. You will need to be clear, prompt, and conscientious in your responses, and, ultimately, remember to provide constant feedback on the progress of your activities. Remember that first-class communication is the key to success.
2. Mastery of technology
Because you will be doing your work remotely, you should be familiar with common technology tools. Of course, you will become familiar with some of the tools in the process, but knowing how to use communication and management tools is definitely a plus that will set you apart from your competitors. You don’t have to become a technology expert (unless you’re submitting a resume for a technology job), but you do need to be able to use the tools and platforms that all companies use to manage clearly and transparently.
These tools will vary depending on the job you are looking for, but having prior experience with time-tracking tools or project management platforms will definitely set you apart from other job seekers. Make sure you check to see if the job description requires you to have experience with one platform or another, so you can mention your expertise on your resume if you have any.
3. Self-sufficiency and autonomy
In traditional office jobs, people often get more support from leaders and colleagues than people who work remotely. This does not mean that no one supervises employees in a remote job – of course they do, but in a remote job you need to be able to work independently, because your boss will not always be there, ready to point you in the right direction and help with any doubts that come your way.
Keep in mind that you may be working in different time zones with your remote team, which leads to increased responsibility in terms of coordination and execution. As a remote worker, you need to be able to:
- Manage your own time: You must manage your time according to your assigned responsibilities. No one will give you orders about how to spend your time at work; prioritizing your time according to your position and deadlines is entirely your responsibility.
- Working independently: As mentioned just above, there may be little or no interaction with team members. Remote workers must be prepared to be resourceful, entrepreneurial, and executive on their own if the need arises.
- Avoid distractions: Distractions are one of the major pitfalls of working remotely. You have to be able to plan your activities and stay so organized that your daily routine (something as simple as a lunch break) doesn’t throw you overboard when it comes to urgent tasks or simply following your work schedule.
Of course you can set your own schedule, and of course you can work just a couple of hours one day and then work through the evening the next day. But if you don’t have a consistent system and discipline, you won’t be able to handle the high level of responsibility that the company has entrusted to you.
As a remote worker, you need to be very organized about your activities and how you spend your time on different types of activities. To help with this, people usually make lists of tasks, keep track of emails, and record their activity using corporate systems and use time clock apps.
5. Internal balance
And last, but not least, a “skill” is required not so much for getting a job, but for yourself. If you want to be happy at your job, you need to know when to finish your work at the end of the day. Achieving work-life balance is one of the most difficult jobs in and of itself. The fact that your job does not depend on your location does not mean that you have to be available to everyone 24/7.
At times, working remotely can be difficult for people who don’t know how to separate work from their personal lives. This can happen because most of your time is spent working from home, and you can’t pinpoint exactly when to stop because you were working, you were taking breaks throughout the day, it was all going by itself, and then boom, you realized that you had worked 12 hours in a day. And what’s the result? People get overwhelmed. It’s recommended that you set a personal schedule, at least at the beginning of your job, until you can clearly draw the line between working and not working.
If you are already able to feel this certainty and think you have all the non-negotiable skills to become a remote worker, then it’s time to start looking for a job to your liking!
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