Soft skills are general characteristics that help employees thrive in the workplace, regardless of their level of seniority, function, or industry.
The importance of soft skills has increased because of the latent need of employees and workers to stand out in today’s highly competitive work environment. First, to compete with others equally or better-prepared candidates. Second, to remain relevant in the face of technological advances that seem likely to replace them. It is where soft skills become decisive in choosing the best. It has been proven in different studies that different work teams, without common characteristics and even belonging to other professional sectors, attribute their success to betting on the development of the soft skills of their members. Let’s figure out what soft skills you need to work remotely successfully:
1. Ability to work independently
Although it seems obvious, developing the ability to work independently requires a lot of discipline and organization to create your way of working to fulfill your responsibilities even without the constant supervision of someone else.
On the other hand, this soft skill speaks to the ingenuity and proactivity that a professional has to solve problems autonomously, significantly when no other team members can help.
For people who are not used to working from a distance, staying self-motivated is vital, since not being under the supervision of their bosses or in the presence of their other colleagues, self-motivation will be the only thing that will make you continue with your work responsibly, fulfilling your tasks in a timely manner, despite the multiple distractions you will face when working at home such as; family, kids, your bed, etc.
The best way to work on self-motivation to apply it to telework is to create a routine similar to the one you had when working at home, even when you do not leave your home, for example: wake up at the same time every day, bathe and get dressed before starting work, assign a specific space to work, avoid distractions, etc.
Self-motivation tells us about someone loyal to his goals and objectives and can encourage himself to continue working to achieve what he has set out to do regardless of the changes or obstacles in his environment.
3. Strong written communication skills
The communication of teams composed of remote employees occurs primarily through written means. It’s fine when you have unlimited time for turning a writing help instruments, such as googling the correct spelling of a word combination, searching for tips, and mail samples. But if the answer needs to be given quickly during chatting with colleagues or business partners, knowing how to communicate briefly and concisely is an essential skill for any employee in this day and age.
Written communication is very different from in-person communication, mainly because when we can’t see body language, visual cues, hear the tone or intent of messages, we can interpret the actual message differently and easily fall into misunderstandings.
Working on your written communication skills to be clear and compelling when interacting with other team members is essential to optimize time and avoid misunderstandings.
4. Learn quickly to use digital tools
When migrating from a face-to-face job to a remote one, you will likely have to install different software and specific applications to optimize this type of work. Among them are platforms that allow remote communication, such as Zoom for video calls or Slack for chats and instant messaging, and work management boards such as Jira, Trello, Asana.
Therefore, the less time you take to familiarize yourself with these tools for teleworking, you will demonstrate your ability to learn quickly, desire for collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability.
Suppose there are digital tools that you are not comfortable with. In that case, it will be best to self-train with the help of youtube tutorials or even take online courses that, in most cases, the applications themselves offer on their websites.
If they are company-specific tools, do not hesitate to contact your colleagues or supervisors to ask someone from the team to train you.
5. Ability to work in multicultural teams
While teamwork has always been one of the most required soft skills in most jobs, multicultural teams are now emphasized. It is logical since remote jobs can hire employees anywhere in the world as one of their main characteristics, which means employees of all kinds of nationalities.
It is a tremendous advantage of telecommuting because it creates a rich, diverse and dynamic work culture. However, working in multicultural teams requires an advanced command of the language they share, an openness to understand and learn other members’ communication styles, cultures, and traditions, and an attitude of respect, tolerance, and sensitivity.
Overall, understanding the importance of soft skills in personal and professional growth is the first step to a long-term remote job promotion. Soft skills frequently reflect your capacity to work with others and progress within an organization. In contrast, hard skills allow you to exhibit your expertise and mastery of a specific, measurable talent. To fully utilize your hard skills, you’ll need soft skills to assist you in developing relationships and solving problems.