Tons of people aspire to work from home — and with good reason. Microsoft’s Work Without Walls notes that employees enjoy working from home as they get to cut their gas expenses, spend more time with the family, and be in a significantly less stressful environment. However, not everyone can instantly jump into a remote working setup, as it requires a specific set of skills — one that differs greatly from a traditional office setup.
So, what are the requirements to be a successful remote worker? In this post, we’ve come up with a list of three skills every work-from-home employee should have.
No Supervision? No Problem!
To work from home requires the ability to get the job done independently.
Of course, employees who are hired to do remote work should know how to execute their jobs with minimal supervision. The setup itself prevents the same level of managerial oversight and the instant communication found in a traditional office setup, so you must be productive and be able to do most of your work independently. What’s more, you’re also more likely to be working on flexible work hours. This may present a challenge that is unique to the remote working setup. Without the strict structure of the office hours, many remote workers find it difficult to keep to a steady routine, and either overcompensate by working too much or fall behind on their workload. In a previous post entitled ‘Working from Home – Helpful Strategies’ we gave out helpful tips on how to combat this; namely, organize your workspace, establish good habits, and minimize work distractions.
Proper Equipment & Proficiency in Digital Tools to Work From Home
Fast WiFi won’t help much if you don’t know the network password!
While technology has made it possible to work from home without a lot of technical hiccups, not everyone is adept at using digital remote working tools. Not every company has their own remote working software and instead use project management apps like Basecamp, Asana or Otter. This means that you can familiarize yourself with remote working software prior to applying to a work-from-home position. A checklist by HP on being prepared for remote work includes knowing your way around a router and antivirus software, as well as having that all-important backup storage and office software ready. For remote workers this might be a handy barometer for checking how well equipped you are when it comes to the basic technologies you need to thrive. Though you don’t have to be an IT expert (unless, of course, this is your job!), a certain level of comfort learning and using new tools is crucial.
Did You Get The Memo?
If you work from home, you need superb written communication skills.
While you may use video conference software to communicate with your colleagues and manager in a work-from-home environment, the primary way of communicating in this setup will always be through email or text-based chats. Therefore, you should have superior written communication skills in order to prevent miscommunication. Poor communication between team members often becomes a source of frustration inside the company and it’s crucial that you keep your messages succinct and clear. Moreover, CEO Pattie Hunt Sinacole told Boston that your boss can terminate your contract due to poor communication skills. Needless to say, you can cost the company a lot of money and resource due to miscommunication— so you better make sure that your correspondence with your colleagues is always crystal clear.
The remote work setup entices a lot of people due to its perks, but applicants should be aware that employers who are offering work-from-home jobs are looking for more than just a regular employee. Working remotely isn’t easy, and anyone who wants to do this should prove that they’re reliable and capable of adapting to a virtual work environment.
Authored by Bertine Jym