Thanks to advances in cloud technology, internet speeds, and communication software, more employees can work from home instead of in an office. Zoom meetings, facetime, emails, and other forms of remote communication are quickly replacing the need for an office space. Employees now have more freedom to set their work schedules from home.
While working from home certainly has its allure, it also poses some potential downsides. Without direct contact with management, employees might fall into bad habits that could hinder the quality of their work.
Fortunately, working from home can be an excellent alternative to office work with just a few key skills in place. Read on to learn about the five most important qualities in effective remote employees and how focusing on these qualities can improve both your work and home life.
1. Time Management
In an office setting, your daily tasks might be more rigid when placed under the direct watch of management. When working from home, you will often have a high degree of flexibility in your work schedule. You often have much more freedom to set your own timeframe for the tasks you need to complete.
However, this freedom means you will need effective time management to complete the tasks assigned to you. If you lean too hard into this scheduling freedom, you could procrastinate and leave an important task until the last minute. Then, you may have to rush the task, which will likely affect the overall quality of your work.
Home also has numerous distractions you wouldn’t face when working in the office. You have your TV, computer, fridge, and countless other potential distractions that could prevent you from doing your job. While a relaxing break is occasionally an essential element of a healthy work-life balance, you need to ensure you can allot sufficient time to do your job.
Another added complication that often comes with working from home is the issue of time zones. When working in an office, you and your supervisors are typically in the same location and time zone. But depending on your work-at-home situation, remote workers might be in different time zones. This could have significant implications for things like deadlines and Zoom meetings.
For example, if your remote team members tell you that they need a report by 4 p.m. in their time zone, you will need to make adjustments in your location to ensure that you get the report in on time.
Motivating yourself is essential in most jobs; however, it is essential for remote workers who don’t have the benefit of constant managerial oversight.
Without proper self-motivation, you may be more likely to procrastinate or become distracted. This is particularly true at your home, where you know you can turn on the TV or browse the internet without the risk of being found out and reprimanded by your boss.
If you want to exceed expectations in a work-at-home setting, you will need excellent self-motivation to conquer any temptations for distraction. Some simple self-motivation techniques include dressing for work rather than staying in your pajamas, checking in with colleagues at a regular time each day, and rewarding yourself when you meet a deadline.
3. Problem Solving
Effective problem solving skills are an important tool in any job in any location. But when working from home, problem solving becomes particularly important. As part of a team working remotely, you will likely have less direct oversight on each task you need to complete.
While this can mean less micromanaging, it can also mean that you will have less direct and prompt feedback from management on how best to complete tasks or how to solve problems that you may encounter. Emails and phone calls might not be responded to within a quick time frame, meaning that you need to rely on your problem solving skills to deal with issues that arise when working on a specific task.
Having good problem solving skills means that you will be able to work independently of management. This also means that your employers dedicate less time and fewer resources to monitoring your work progress.
4. Communication Skills
Effective communication skills are critical when working from home. You must frequently communicate with your managers, coworkers, and anyone else in your working relationship to ensure all tasks are on track. However, at home, you can’t just jog over to your boss’s office or co-workers’ cubicle to ask a quick question or get feedback on a task you are working on.
Instead, you will need to maximize the information you can get from remote communication channels such as email, phone calls, texts, Zoom meetings, and instant messaging apps. Being able to effectively communicate in a way that does not expend too much of your manager’s time can set you apart from other successful home workers.
It can also mean receiving the necessary information from managers and coworkers in one written communication or Zoom meeting. This provides you with more freedom to spend your time working on tasks. If you spend too much time sending follow-up emails, you will be unable to manage your time as effectively as you should, and your work may suffer as a result.
5. Work-Life Balance
When working from home, finding a work-life balance is vital. Working from home can often leave you feeling like you are constantly on the job, leading to chronic stress and burnout. Setting boundaries between your work and home life is essential to ensure you are successful in your job while still allowing you time to relax, unwind, and enjoy friends and family.
To find a successful work-life balance when working remotely, ensure you stick to your scheduled work hours. Establishing a firm schedule with management helps with time management and ensures you have ample time to enjoy activities outside of work.
Also, try to create a work-only space at home. This could be a dedicated home office or a small area in your living room or kitchen where you keep your work gear. Ensure that the space is devoid of distractions, and once your work day is finished, close the door or avoid the area to help separate your work and home life.
Make Successful Remote Work Easier with JobFuel
If working independently appeals to you, and if you think you have the qualities needed to excel in your home office, the next step is to find a work-from-home job that fits your skills. With remote work growing more popular every year, it’s essential to have the best resources in your remote job search.
For the best job opportunities, either at home or in an office environment, visit jobsfuel.com to get matched with open positions that will allow you to take the next step in your work and personal life.