Whether you enjoy working from home or not, it’s becoming a reality for more and more workers these days, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, it’s a good idea to brush up on your skills to prepare yourself for the challenges of remote work.
But what skills should you focus on?
In this guide, we will answer this question and present various skills that can help skyrocket your success as a remote worker.
The number one skill for any remote worker, digital nomad, or freelancer is self-discipline.
Because if you’re not a self-starter, you’re going to struggle to get into a workflow.
While you might usually have a boss or colleague at work that occasionally checks up on you at home, it’s just you, the cat, and your wandering mind.
And trust us, a wandering mind isn’t conducive to productivity. Even if you pride yourself on your ability to concentrate on the task at hand, working at home presents different challenges.
There are the distractions such as social media, which have a greater appeal when the boss isn’t around, the pets/kids making their presence known in another room, and even just the rising urge to rummage the fridge for a snack can get in the way of progress.
So how do you remedy the issue of constant distraction at home?
By bringing discipline to your work.
The main way to do this is to establish what your working hours are going to be, when you are going to wake up, and when it’s time for lunch and/or breaks. Without the social cues for these events, you may struggle to stay on track with your current work projects.
You don’t have to plan your day down to the minute, but you should create time blocks to allow for different activities throughout the workday. That way, you can get into a good rhythm and be as productive as possible.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a flexible work schedule, you can even plan out your workday to your strengths. Say you struggle to wake up in the early hours of the morning, you can push the start of your day back to 10 or 10.30 am. On the other hand, if you relish those early morning hours, why not clock in earlier than you usually would and end the day early in the afternoon?
Just as it’s important to schedule time to ensure the work gets done, it’s equally as essential to establish firm boundaries for yourself.
What do we mean by boundaries?
Well, one of the biggest problems a lot of remote workers face is burnout due to working too much.
This won’t be an issue for some people who find it easy to clock out at the end of a workday, but for many of us, work can creep into our spare time without us even realizing it.
Sure, it’s fine to work an hour or two after work if you really have to get a project finished before a hard deadline, but otherwise, you should try to stick to healthy boundaries.
While you might have a more regimented work schedule than a freelance worker, there’s still the possibility to continue checking work emails after your cut off time or plugging away at a project that’s hanging over you.
Don’t let the work consume you and eat into your free time.
These days, it isn’t enough to know how to use email and Skype for communication.
As we’re sure you’re well aware. Zoom has soared in popularity ever since the pandemic first broke out in early 2020. It isn’t the only application that’s enjoying a huge increase in users, though.
From task management tools that allow you to create a pipeline for projects and label the various steps to employee time monitoring software that ensure the work is being done, there’s a need for digital proficiency in the world of remote work.
To deal with this problem, you should work on improving your digital skills, you can simply find out the best CISM training course at Readynez that may be helpful for your remote work.
Communication is key, especially when you have to work at home away from your colleagues and boss.
Knowing how to communicate clearly is arguably even more important when working at home, since getting clarification can be a lot harder when you can’t just speak to your boss in person.
Unlike when you’re at the office, at home you can’t just nudge your coworker or knock on your superior’s door when you’re unsure how to proceed with a project.
As a result, communicating your needs and asking the right questions is crucial as a remote worker. During Zoom meetings or email exchanges you need to get your points across clearly and succinctly, and know how to argue your case through both the written and spoken word.
Writing is one of the most important skills you can develop, regardless of the context.
Just like public speaking, writing is a highly transferable skill that can benefit you in various situations and settings.
If you can write well and get across your message clearly, then those you work with will take you seriously.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a typo in an email, and if you’re trying to secure new clients for your company then you want to make sure you can construct a compelling argument in text. Most work interactions move to the written word at some point or another, so it’s best to be prepared.
Working from home is often less glamorous than it seems, especially after the dust has settled and you’ve settled into a routine.
As such, it’s a good idea to brush on the skills presented in this guide in order to stay on your employer’s good side and show that you can be adaptable.
Author: Bojana Djordjevic
Bojana is a Content Writer at Workpulse, with a background in marketing and journalism. She enjoys writing about productivity, remote work, and the evolving jobs economy.