Since the pandemic hit the U.S. last year, life and work haven’t been the same. Now, millions of people work remotely. While hard skills are still vital, soft skills are now in much higher demand on average. So, if you’re hoping to start a work-from-home job (WFH), you might want to develop the following skills.
One of the most valuable skills a remote employee can have is organization. Whether you’re tackling online assignments or meeting with clients, you must organize your day and stay on top of tasks.
Prove that you always know what needs to be done and that you’re capable of doing it by emphasizing your organizational skills in your resume. Showcase your time-consciousness by sharing examples of how you juggled various roles or tasks and which tools you used to schedule meetings and reminders. Often, these are the same tools you’ll use to work remotely.
When you work remotely, your boss won’t be peering over your shoulder to ensure you’re staying on task. You’ll have to find other ways to remain attentive and keep yourself focused. Otherwise, your productivity could take a hit and cost you your job.
Boost your focus by practicing a time-management technique like the Pomodoro method. Pick one project or task you want to work on and set a timer for 25 to 30 minutes. When the buzzer sounds, take a two- or three-minute break. Repeat this cycle three more times before taking a longer break.
These short bursts of high and low productivity improve your attention span so you can work more efficiently throughout the entire day.
Work-from-home employees must also have good communication skills if they are to collaborate with their bosses and co-workers. Familiarize yourself with the most common tools, including Zoom, Skype, Slack, and Google Hangouts, so you can jump online and seamlessly communicate with your peers.
Effective communication is also essential if you’re going to be responding to clients and speaking with potential customers. Remember to be prompt, clear, and concise when replying to customers and proofread all your communications before sending them.
Of course, most employers also want someone proactive and willing to take the initiative on various projects and assignments. As a remote worker, you won’t have officemates to turn to for a quick question, so good problem-solving skills are a must.
Show your interviewer you’re self-sufficient by mentioning initiatives you’ve taken in the past to improve yourself and the companies you represented. Did you learn a program on your own to fulfill a specific role? What have you done to streamline business processes and enhance workflows?
Emphasize these instances and look for opportunities to prove your independence during the interview process.
Even if you won’t be working in internet technologies or web design, it’s still wise to familiarize yourself with whatever software you’ll be using to carry out your WFH job. Include technical skills on your resume and learn how to troubleshoot connectivity and software issues without asking for help.
Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection, a functioning printer, a responsive computer, antivirus software, and other must-haves in your home office. Prepare to add a few more pieces of equipment to your home office if need be, like a second monitor. Doing so will showcase your adaptability and commitment to efficiency.
While proactive employees are in high demand, today’s employers are also looking for someone who can cultivate a healthy work-life balance. This skill is something many remote workers struggle to cultivate. Yet, taking a break and enjoying your time off is essential to reducing stress and maintaining high productivity levels.
Many employers enable remote employees to achieve a healthy balance through a telecommuting policy that establishes regular work hours. Others offer a wide variety of activities and events to incentivize rest and relaxation. However, showing your interviewer that you already have a healthy work-life balance will assure them you’re committed to your personal and professional growth.
While both hard and soft skills are essential, many employers value personality above all else. Today’s brands want someone who will contribute to company culture, support their values, and help the business grow. If you’re ready to fill that role, let your personality shine through and just be yourself. Your skillset will speak for itself.
About the Author:
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is innovating different industries.