Remote work doesn’t mean sitting in a tent in the high arctic clacking away on a frozen keyboard–unless that appeals to you. Instead, working remotely refers to the opportunity to launch a successful career and explore entrepreneurship from anywhere in the world.
However, the soft skills required for work-from-home success are often different from in-office skills. Consider the questions below before committing to a remote job.
Are you willing to invest in the necessary tech for success?
While a laptop may suffice to get you started, there are a few essential tools to explore if your plans include taking your remote start-up to a professional level.
Using your home address for business purposes can threaten your privacy and taint your professional image. Instead, those who manage work correspondence without a physical office can benefit from products like the iPostal1 virtual mailbox https://ipostal1.com/.
A virtual mailbox is a tool that gives you an actual street address to use in place of your home address, and you can view and manage your mail at any time using the web or app.
What about 5G? A strong internet connection is vital. 5G delivers 100X more speed to allow you to run more devices at optimum speed. As you grow your remote business, the coffee shop WiFi may not be enough to support your endeavors.
VR and IM Communication Tools like Zoom video conferencing and messaging tools like Slack and Twist are inexpensive opportunities to boost your professionalism and collaborate with team builders from any location.
Since you will be on your own without anyone breathing down your neck, you still need to maintain your workflow and accountability. Investing in personal productivity assistants and administrative automation will help you manage projects, time management, and focus on your goals. Check out Timely, Dewo, and Expensify as industry partners.
Cloud storage & computing
And finally, invest in Cloud storage and computing. Gone are the days of floppy disks and backing up on a hard drive. Revolutionary tools like Google Docs and Dropbox allow shared access and the opportunity to grow your business.
Now that the techy side of the remote business is taken care of, what about your soft skills?
What soft skills are in your portfolio?
Perhaps at the office, you are the go-to get-it-done person. You possess unique skills that motivate others or find strategic solutions where none seem to exist. Maybe you have a fantastic talent to complete the task while everyone is still scratching the surface.
Those are marketable soft skills, but you need more than just one–especially when working from home.
Can you do the talk?
Everyone has their style of communicating. Some are long-winded, and others get their point across in a few short phrases. What’s important is that people understand what you mean. Plus, employees need to be open and ask questions without feeling inadequate.
One great tool to employ in communication is effective listening. Take minutes or ask for permission to record the meeting and engage in feedback. Try to make eye contact even when in video calls, which may mean looking directly at the camera. Give your wholehearted attention, reserve judgment, and take the first step in reaching out to others.
Do you fear discipline?
If ever there was a word with a bad wrap, it’s discipline.
However, discipline is a growth mindset. While sometimes it’s a nagging voice, discipline wants to be your best friend. Discipline, or its milder cousin focus, also knows you better than anyone. It’s the power within you.
Discipline is a tool you use to avoid distraction and assess and commit to the job, both crucial points when working remotely. To harness and maximize discipline, set a routine and don’t deviate. Set three reachable goals each day, and learn to recognize your strengths and turn your weaknesses into workable tools.
A terrific tip to master discipline is dressing in professional attire each morning, even though you aren’t leaving the house. It generates a feeling of confidence.
Can you manage initiative and decisions on your own?
Finding initiative can be challenging when working from home. Decide to invest your energy without negativity. Your performance is directly linked to the job, and now that you work remotely, you have to balance enjoying flexibility with taking the initiative.
Initiative and decision are the foundation of time management. Incorporate the tech tools mentioned earlier to your advantage instead of being burdened by them.
Analyze your duties. Understand and discuss your job with your superiors and employees. Make a note of the results, set goals, and achieve them.
Working in a remote environment allows you to leave (some) of the office politics behind. Focus on being productive and ask yourself: Do I work best with people surrounding me for motivation to complete tasks?
Is it possible to collaborate at a distance?
Working as a team is more important now than ever. Remote locations remove the in-your-face element, which puts employees at risk of becoming invisible.
Teamwork means you see the common goal and plan to meet those expectations to reach that goal respectfully and professionally.
Managing tools to achieve results includes sharing your work openly. Utilize virtual work boards and contribute without personal bias. Be that informal champion that motivates the team.
If this level of collaboration sounds unreachable, engage the science behind success. You’ll be surprised at how powerful your mindset is if you manipulate it into a growth mindset.
Is my home environment conducive to remote work?
Working remotely for a company or as a freelancer has oodles of benefits. However, many remote workers spend long hours at their desks.
These workers have given up working with people directly by choice or obligation. That can be freeing and also lonely.
Further, is your home large enough to accommodate the tools you need? Can you manage other aspects like childcare and working around roommates and family members who come and go?
Distractions can interfere with your productivity, so consider your home life when pursuing remote opportunities.
Everyone needs to earn an income, which means working from home for many. While it seems ideal at first, remote working requires considerable soft skills. Ask yourself the above questions to see if you have the patience, communication, time management, and discipline it takes to work from home.