How to Level Up Your Skills and Be Better Prepared for Remote Work in Western PA

It’s no secret that the way we work is changing. With so many businesses going remote, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the skills you need to be successful in a remote work environment. Here are some skills you might need to be a good remote worker. You don’t have to be an expert at everything to be successful at remote work, but being proficient in these areas will definitely help you adjust to working from home.

1. Communication

One of the most important skills you need for remote work is good communication. Since you’re not working face-to-face with your co-workers (or clients), it’s important to be able to communicate effectively through email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other tools. 

Some tools you may encounter are Slack, Discord, Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, and Voxer. Each tool has a different approach to communication and fills a different need within a company or business. While it may seem cumbersome to sign in and create these accounts, staying in touch is the most important part of working in a team.

Getting to know your team’s (or client’s) communication style will be the key to communicating effectively. Some teams are more visual and others prefer to keep everything in Slack. Loom is a great way to communicate a semi-complex thought or review without having to jump on a meeting but needs more than an email.

2. Time management

When you’re working from home, it’s easy to let work consume your entire day. You need to be able to set boundaries and manage your time effectively so you don’t end up burning yourself out. 

Tools like toggl will help you track your hours and give you a sense of how much time is spent on each task, project, or client. The Pomodoro method is a great way to break down your work day into bite-size and manageable pieces.

3. Organization

Another important skill for remote work is organization. Since you’re not working in a traditional office setting, it’s up to you to keep your workspace organized and tidy. This will help you stay focused and productive while you’re working from home. 

When it comes to your work, staying organized in the digital world can be the difference between a great experience and a terrible one. Taking the time to set up your digital filing systems and using your calendar will help you stay on track in the long run.

4. Technical skills

Depending on the type of job you have, you might need some specific technical skills to be able to do your job effectively from home. For example, if you’re a web developer, you’ll need to know how to use various coding languages and development tools. Or if you’re a graphic designer, you’ll need to be proficient in design software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

Most companies will offer training on company-specific platforms but having general knowledge of currently utilized platforms in your role will go a long way to helping you be more effective, and faster. Remember to make use of the help pages as needed, most platforms will have great searchable help documentation. 

5. Self-motivation

Perhaps the most important skill for remote work is self-motivation. Since there’s no one breathing down your neck telling you what to do, it’s up to you to stay on task and get your work done without supervision. If you can’t motivate yourself, working from home is going to be a challenge. 

Be Better Prepared for Remote Work

These are just a few of the skills you might need for remote work. If you’re thinking about making the switch to working from home, brush up on these skills and be better prepared to remote work. Don’t forget, you don’t need to be an expert at everything to make a great remote worker — focus on honing a few key skills and you’ll be well on your way.