Do you have the skills to work remotely?
Work Remotely: Skills & Tips
After the forced transition to telecommuting that 2020 has left us with, many organizations have seen in work remotely as an opportunity to build more qualified teams thanks to the opening to the digital talent market in which there are no borders to find the right candidate.
However, not everyone is ready to work in remote modality. If you are looking for a job in a company with distributed teams, read on.
Here are the soft skills you need to enhance to adapt to the remote work environment:
1. Proactivity and empathy
When the office is no longer a common physical space, we don’t see our colleagues. We suffer from virtual blindness.
We lack very valuable sensory information to establish the emotional thermometer of the team and, usually, what we have, is in the form of slack status (🗓 ️ in a meeting, 🤒 absent due to illness, 🏡 working from home… ).
Faced with this lack of information, we have to learn to communicate proactively with our peers and managers and ask for help if we need it.
Remember, if you don’t tell, no one knows.
And, as a team, we need to actively create shared moments with our peers to build trust, share common achievements and enhance group unity.
2. Autonomy and decision making
You know how to work independently, you need little or no supervision to move forward with your objectives, you are decisive and you are not afraid to make decisions. If you work like this, you’re halfway to joining a distributed team.
When you work remotely, your colleagues will be spread across different countries and time zones, making it difficult to reach them at a moment’s notice. Don’t let the lack of speedy response become a bottleneck.
Go ahead as far as you can and notify your colleagues so that the next morning you have the information you were missing, and complete your tasks.
Remote work is synonymous with collaborative work. It is essential that you know what you bring to the team in order to work smoothly with others.
You are all responsible for the success or failure of an initiative. You are all working towards a common goal.
That is why it is important that there is transparency in deadlines, processes, dependencies and information associated with the projects of the same team.
You are all responsible for the success or failure of an initiative and, on many occasions, your role within the team will be to help your colleagues or facilitate their work to achieve success.
Are you able to give up competitiveness and personal recognition at work?
Communication is vital when you work remotely. Communicating clearly and concisely is key to avoid misunderstandings, duplicate efforts and keep the team motivated.
Most of the interactions with your team will take place in a company chat (such as slack), video conference (such as zoom), or task and project management tool (such as asana).
And, most of them will be written – since you won’t be able to coincide with your coworkers due to the time difference.
So you need to be able to communicate clearly what you need and choose the right communication channel for each interaction.
5. Productivity Time Management
Are you able to organize your day and your week? do you know how to plan to meet deadlines without being reminded? do you delegate or set limits when you can’t take on any more workload?
If you know how to differentiate which tasks are important, which ones can wait, and which ones help the company achieve its goals, you already have the answer.
- Manage your agenda and set your priorities based on the value they add to the big picture of the business project.
- Rearrange your calendar and adapt to day-to-day changes without detriment to your performance.
- Create a schedule that works for you and stick to it as much as possible. Prioritize your most important tasks and allocate time for breaks and self-care to avoid burnout.
You need to be able to balance your work and personal life, and avoid the temptation to work beyond your designated hours.
This skill is crucial to take charge of your day in a team where your value is measured in the results you deliver and not in the hours you dedicate to the organization.
Other work remotely skills to consider:
Working remotely means relying heavily on technology to stay connected with your team and complete your tasks. Therefore, being tech-savvy is essential when it comes to remote work.
You need to be comfortable with using various online communication tools such as video conferencing, chat software, and project management platforms.
Additionally, you should know how to troubleshoot common tech issues, such as network connectivity problems or software malfunctions, without always relying on IT support.
When working remotely, you may lack the external pressure and accountability that comes with being physically present in an office.
You need to be self-motivated and disciplined to stay productive and meet deadlines. To stay on track, set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself, and track your progress.
Make sure to reward yourself for hitting your targets, and establish a routine to create a sense of structure in your day.
Remote work can present unexpected challenges, such as a sudden change in priorities or technology issues that arise.
Therefore, it is crucial to be adaptable and flexible in your approach to work. When things don’t go as planned, remain calm and seek out solutions.
Look for new ways to approach problems and be open to feedback and constructive criticism.
9. Active Listening
When communicating remotely, it’s important to be an active listener to ensure that you fully understand what is being said.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language, and ask questions to clarify any confusion.
Repeat back key points to show that you are actively engaged in the conversation, and avoid multitasking or getting distracted by other tasks during important calls or meetings.
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