Have you ever thought what it takes to be a remote worker? You’ve already been in ‘remote work mode’ long enough to say if you like it or not. You may be the happiest person in the world empowered by the freedom, flexibility and all the benefits that come with it. Or you may be willing to go back to life in an office environment, ignoring everything that includes ‘remote.’
You already know, the only sure thing in life is change. And the unconscious resistance toward change causes you pain. It’s normal. It’s as normal as the fact that evolution only moves forward. From now on, remote work is here to stay. So the need for you to evolve, adapt and learn new skills is evident. And what does it take to be a remote worker? So, to end your struggling, we bring clarity in a structured way with a list of the must have skills and attributes of any successful remote worker.
Autonomy is the ability to be self-directed. You independently set goals, make decisions and take actions. All the way until you succeed! It breaks down to many transferable skills such as prioritization, time management, and sometimes, creativity. The asynchronous nature of communication in distributed work means you have to be able to self-navigate your daily or weekly agenda. Autonomy implies trustworthiness, reliability and an ownership mentality.
Tell me what you do when you are alone, and I will tell you if remote work is for you! Nobody is watching you when you work outside of a physical office. In addition to that, you deal with all the noise and temptation of endless distractions all around you. Being disciplined means you set your own standards. And yeah, you set them high. Not because of others, but because of yourself and your self-respect and self-interest. Creating your own rules is beautiful and empowering. This makes following them a pleasure instead of a burden.
We work best with people we trust. Being recognized as trustworthy at work spotlights your morals, ethics and authenticity. Demonstrating self-awareness of who you are, what you stand for and how you demonstrate integrity increases your trustworthiness. It helps you build strong relationships, partner with others, solve problems and deal with conflicts. Now you understand the real meaning of the most common interview question, “Tell me more about yourself.” Tell them about your integrity.
You surely don't know all the answers and solutions. The question is how quickly you can find them and if they will be smart ones. Being resourceful starts with an insane curiosity and passion for what you do. Knowing where to search, starting from Google is a good idea. And joining relevant social networks, professional networks, facebook groups, and meetups. Following thought leaders. There are limitless sources and ways to find resources, ideas and inspiration. Adopt this habit and you are going to rock as a remote worker. And not only in a remote setup. Hint: Be proactively resourceful by regularly reading books and blog posts relevant to your profession, industry and interests.
Mastery of communications is needed in virtual collaboration. And here the bar is beyond the skills to express yourself in a verbal manner. In a virtual working environment your primary communication will be in the written form. You use chat, shared files and online collaboration tools. You need to be able to write clearly and explicitly. Providing context, describing problems or elaborating on your thinking is critical for you to work well in a hybrid or a fully remote team.
What was the last thing you learned? This is a commonly used question during remote job interviews. And this is for a reason. The most successful remote workers are usually A-performers. The A-players constantly learn new things and embrace new skills. You train intentionally to stay competitive and ahead of the competition and become a better version of yourself. The growth and constant learning mentality help you thrive despite the exponentially growing requirements of the modern workforce.
You don’t need someone to tell you to start because you are proactively learning, researching, collaborating and uncovering problems to solve. This is a critical skill in remote work environments. You won’t have someone in an office next to you, looking over your shoulder. Part of the joy of remote working is the freedom to take control of your destiny. Set your own schedule, explore new technologies, be a creative problem solver, and start adding value to your team on Day 1. If you can be a responsible, valuable self-starter, remote companies will be thrilled to have you!
You know what it takes to be a remote worker, and these 7 skills and attributes will make you a better virtual collaborator, remote interviewer and leader.
For more remote work insights, visit our blog.
Hundreds have already subscribed to be the first to receive top industry trends and articles on remote work, leadership and workforce management. Sign up for FREE Now!