5 Critical Skills You Need for Remote Work

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Freelance and remote work opportunities are in abundance. However, competition is also fierce. Remote work recruitment processes will take you through rigorous stages to prove that you’re the real deal.

This then means there are skills you need for remote work and you must develop them. Most importantly, show these critical skills on your application.

Upwork recently released a quarterly Skills Index that highlights the top 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market to highlight and anticipate trends. A big hurdle is in finding the right skills. 53% of the surveyed hiring managers cite access to skills as their biggest hiring challenge.

Below are top skills you can develop and demonstrate on your remote work application:

Improve your communication skills

Scott Morris precisely describes this as digital communication. In his article, 12 Critical Skills to Highlight on Your Remote Resume, he states that,’ Digital communication skills call on the same clear exchange of information and ideas that happens in general communication but moves it to a digital platform. This includes the ability to manage your email inbox and respond to emails in a timely fashion.’

Your interaction hinges on verbal and written communication with your team. For most of your time, you will need to figure out issues by yourself. You will then need to relay issues and updates to your team. This will call for clarity in your communication.

“Bad communication is everywhere. The tiniest slip of the mind or finger can undermine a carefully planned communication strategy: the more complex it is, the faster it will fall to the wayside,” said Liz van Dijk, VP of Business Services at Percona.

Have a flexible schedule

Remote work calls for independence. You will not have a boss to remind you of your work. Remember you need to stay on pace with the demands of your daily life and the tasks of your remote work. Use of a calendar to schedule your overall daily activities will help you stay organized.

Also, learn to work from anyway. Anyway! You will have the ability to set your ideal schedule which will help you avoid distractions. You will also have to spend majority of your time all by yourself. The advantage is that you will stay focused and dwell on your work tasks. Plan ahead, but if circumstance don’t favour your work, then be flexible.

Become time-conscious

On top of having a flexible schedule, you need to be time-conscious. You will most likely be on a different time-zone from your peers. This means that you will have to be wary of deadlines and meeting schedules. If a remote job demands you keep a certain time zone, then switch to it for your work hours.

You are also likely going to work on some tasks on a tight schedule. This also calls for time-management which is a skill that will come in handy for remote work. Stay on your tasks and never wait for the last day to submit your work. There will never be anyone to guide you.

Keep up with latest tech tools

Different companies use different tools for remote work. That means you will have to acquaint yourself with various online tools that are remote companies heavily use. Also, you don’t have to be in a technology to learn these tools. Your job might be a virtual assistant and you could be asked to use some scheduling tools as well as online storage tools.

That means you must research various tools and learn how to use them. Remember you will also mention tools that you’re best at on your CV when applying. This will put you at an advantage.

Keep this in mind, if you don’t know how to use a tool a company relies on, mention that you don’t but you’re willing to learn and ready for on-boarding. Tools to learn right away are Slack, Trello, WordPress, Dropbox and Google Docs.

Self-disciple and motivation are mandatory

Most of the points we raised above deal with self-discipline. You need your manager to trust that you will deliver on your duties. Set your goals and review them consistently. Setting goals and achieving them will keep you motivated. It can get lonely and there will be no one to give you a pat on the shoulder for some of your deliverable.

A part of self-discipline is committing to the goals you set. Even most importantly, using the tools assigned to you to deliver your work. If there are scheduling and tracking tools for your job, use them. If there’s an app to keep you organized, then use it. This will keep your work in order.