Make sure you tick these boxes before applying!
Since the pandemic started, we've seen a colossal shift in the way people work. The daily commute, for many, is a thing of the past. In fact, almost 40% of British professionals have worked from home in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics. What's more, if you're searching for a new role, you're likely to find more offering either remote or hybrid options.
As an employee, there are many challenges and advantages to home working. Get it right, and you could have your dream setup. So, how can you make sure that you'll take to remote working like a duck to water? Let's take a look at some of the skills you'll need under your belt to get started.
Working from your living room in your PJs may sound like an ideal scenario. However, if you're the sort of person who struggles to get out of bed in the morning as it is, you may find remote work tricky. While you still likely have to log on to your computer at 9am sharp, remote work offers much more flexibility than office roles. Chances are, there's no manager breathing down your neck all day long.
That's great, except you still have to get the job done. That is a must. If you don't complete all your tasks, you're going to fall behind fast. For that reason, you need to ensure that you can self-motivate. If this trait doesn't come naturally to you, you might want to try writing a to-do list, using apps to track your productivity, or giving yourself plenty of short and sweet breaks throughout the day.
2. Time management
Time is money, or so the old saying goes. When you're in an office environment, you may find that everything runs on a specific schedule. However, when you're working from home, you have more control over your own time. Managing your day-to-day routine is a huge challenge for many remote workers. You need to keep on top of the clock and ensure that you don't let the hours slip away.
If you're working with a remote management team, you may have regular calls and check-ins that help you along the way. However, you're also going to need to have keen organisational skills and a high sense of time-keeping. Should you find it hard to keep to a schedule, try time-tracking software such as Toggl Track to measure how long certain tasks take you. Having a good grasp on which activities eat up the most amount of time could make a major difference to how you work each day.
3. Digital literacy
Do you know your Asana from your Clickup? How about your Skype from your Microsoft Teams? When you're working remotely, you need to have a good level of digital literacy. Most modern workers have an understanding of software. When you start working remotely, you may find that you have to learn how to use new systems, so that you can effectively work with your team. Don't panic. It's easier than you think.
If you don't already have a working knowledge of digital systems, now may be the perfect time to sharpen your skills. Ahead of applying for remote roles, it's smart to learn about the platforms you may use. While you won't be able to cover everything, the more you know, the better position you'll be in.
Sure, you may be working from the kitchen table, but that doesn't mean that you're flying solo. When you're working remotely, you'll still need to collaborate with others. Needless to say, when you're a remote worker, teamwork can be an additional challenge. Luckily, there are ways to combat this problem. You may choose to have regular meetings with your co-workers, use Google Docs to work on projects simultaneously, or simply use email to keep in touch throughout the day. The choice is yours!
That brings us neatly to the next skill that remote workers need: excellent communication. When you're in an office with people, you can easily head to someone's desk to ask them a question. However, when you're working remotely, it's important to do everything you can to bridge the communication gap. If you're on a group call, for example, you will need to speak clearly and accurately at all times. Since no one can see your face or read your body language, you need to put in a little extra work here.
It doesn't end there. If you're emailing someone or speaking to them on Slack, be sure to be clear about what you mean. It's all too easy for misunderstandings to occur. You may presume that your co-worker knows what you're talking about, but the fact is that they are not sitting next to you. Spell everything out.
Are you a highly organised person? Do you find it easy to manage multiple tasks at the same time? If the answer is yes, you may be well suited to a remote working position. While these jobs often have a managerial team, you still need to keep on top of things. Managing your own diary and keeping track of your activities are two of the main challenges here. Depending on the role you're doing, you may also need to create a filing system and find ways to store the information and documents you need.
Ready to land a remote role? If you love the idea of working from anywhere, finding a job that gives you this level of flexibility is the way to go. Now that you know what skills you need to succeed, it's time to get to work. You can strengthen all of the above skills by practicing them. Take the time to cultivate these traits and be sure to include them on your CV when you're applying for home working positions.
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