Essential Skills for Remote Work

remote work

Remote work is a flexible working arrangement in which an employee can perform their job tasks from a home office, telecenter or other non-traditional workplace location.

A remote workplace can have many benefits for both employees and employers. These include higher productivity, fewer commutation costs and access to career opportunities.


Flexibility is an increasingly important factor for remote work. For many employees, a flexible work schedule allows them to do the things they want to do with their families. It also reduces the amount of time they spend in an office.

However, flexibility is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Employees need clear and consistent expectations about how they should use flexible work, explains Christina Boyd-Smith, an executive coach in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Those expectations should be written into policies and communicated widely. Moreover, they should be based on principles, rather than rigid rules that aren’t relevant to people in different roles or locations.

Leaders must understand how they have defined flexibility so they can make decisions that align with their values and meet business needs. For example, they should assess whether their company has leaned more toward accommodation (allowing employees to manage certain work-life events such as illness or childcare) or boundaryless working (whereby workers are expected to work anywhere, anytime).

When leaders haven’t been able to define flexibility clearly, it can be hard for them to make decisions about how to implement it. They can also miss out on opportunities to engage their workforce and develop a flexible culture.

Leadership that embraces true flexibility enables employees to do their best work without experiencing burnout or other negative consequences. This approach aligns performance and work-life needs, increases productivity, improves morale, and strengthens employee retention.

A company that embraces flexibility can help it retain a globally diverse and sustainable workforce. It can help women with child-care responsibilities keep their jobs, and it can improve diversity by making it easier for immigrants and other people of color to gain employment in the U.S.

Developing a flexible work policy that’s clear, simple, and transparent can help employees feel more included in the decision-making process and encourages them to be flexible with their time. This approach can also be used to empower and reward supervisors who foster an environment where employees are able to balance their work and personal lives.

Although most organizations have a policy on flexibility, they often lack clear guidance about how to make it work. They also fail to provide a consistent definition of flexibility, which can result in a variety of different approaches to it across the organization. Moreover, they don’t communicate flexible options well, so employees aren’t sure when to use them.

Self-starter attitude

The self-starter attitude is an essential skill for remote work. It helps you set goals, achieve them, and overcome obstacles that might otherwise impede your progress. It also gives you the confidence to take risks and move forward when it’s necessary.

Employees who have a self-starter attitude often see opportunities where others don’t. They find ways to contribute to the company’s success without waiting for approval or guidance from their supervisors.

They are able to recognize problems in the organization and come up with solutions that will improve efficiency. They are also tolerant of criticism, and they take feedback on board without ignoring it or feeling like they’re being taken advantage of.

Self-starters are always seeking out new skills and knowledge that can benefit their job performance and advancement within the company. This can be done through reading, experimenting with different processes, and even asking questions to learn more about the workplace.

In order to show employers that you have the self-starter attitude, you should demonstrate your ability to meet the company’s expectations for performance. For example, if you want to get promoted or become more involved in your team’s projects, you should create a goal that’s attainable but still challenging.

Another way to prove your self-starter skills is to develop a growth mindset that can help you focus on the positives instead of the negatives. If you don’t feel confident when a challenge or obstacle comes up, try breaking down the task into smaller pieces that can be accomplished in a short period of time.

You can also make it easier to build your self-discipline by creating a schedule for yourself and sticking to it. The temptation to stray from your plan will always be there, but you should try your best to stick with it.

The self-starter attitude is one of the most important skills to have for remote work, because it enables you to get things done without the need for constant support from your boss. It’s also an essential skill for freelance work, as you need to be able to take on new challenges and deliver results.


Communication is the foundation of team work, and when remote work isn’t effective, it can derail the flow of information. In this type of work environment, a lack of communication can lead to team members misunderstanding each other’s intentions and goals, leading to wasted time and resources.

To avoid this, remote workers must be proactive in identifying gaps in team communication. When they are aware of these areas, they can respond quickly and resolve them before they become a major problem.

There are several tools and technologies that can help workers do remote work more effectively, including file sharing tools, screen recording apps, and unified digital workplace platforms. These tools can help remote employees keep track of each other’s progress and communicate their ideas clearly.

For example, remote workers can use a tool like Slack to collaborate with each other and discuss projects without having to travel to the same location. They can also host video conferences and share their screens with other team members.

Another way to improve communication is to establish a regular routine that helps break down the isolation of remote work. For example, you can schedule a virtual coffee chat every week or two with a team member.

This allows you to build a rapport with your team member and create a sense of community that can help you get through the challenges of doing remote work. You can even ask them about how they’re feeling and what resources they need to make their remote work more successful.

Working remotely is a challenging environment, and it’s easy to forget that the people around you are also human beings. The best way to ensure that the work you’re doing is getting done, is to show empathy and care.

As an added bonus, empathy can improve communication and reduce interpersonal conflict. When people feel connected to one another, they can work more efficiently and enjoy a happier, healthier work life.

When you communicate with a team member through email, it’s important to send only the information that needs to be passed on. This will save you and your coworkers time. Additionally, you should give your team members the freedom to decide what is appropriate for them. By doing this, you can help them stay focused on the task at hand and avoid having to constantly refer back to you for details.

Time management

Time management is an important skill to master for all workers, but it’s especially essential for remote employees. It takes self-discipline and the ability to set and maintain clear boundaries between work and personal life.

Fortunately, there are a variety of time-management tools and strategies that you can use to improve your productivity as a remote worker. The first step is to understand your own time rhythm and how you naturally feel most focused.

By understanding your own internal rhythm, you can align your energy with the tasks and projects that need to be done on a daily basis. This is a crucial part of effective time management because it allows you to keep distractions at bay and stay productive and focused.

It’s also a good idea to set aside time for yourself to recharge. This can be as simple as going for a walk or listening to music.

Another effective time-management strategy for remote employees is to take regular breaks. Aside from being physically beneficial, taking breaks can help you refocus your mind and get more done in less time.

This is because research has shown that people who take frequent breaks are more productive and focused than those who don’t. For this reason, it’s crucial to plan in your breaks during the day and to make them a part of your work routine.

If you’re not sure how to create a schedule that works best for you, there are several different time-tracking apps that can help you manage your time and focus on your priorities. These apps offer features like automatic time tracking, idle time alerts, and distraction notifications that can be useful for remote employees.

To start, consider how long your tasks will take and determine the most effective way to schedule them in your calendar. This can involve using a start/stop timer or automatic time tracking software, both of which will give you more control over your work hours and increase productivity.

Once you’ve set up a work schedule that fits your needs, it’s important to remember to communicate with your manager in advance of any deadlines or work conflicts. This will help you avoid last-minute delays or issues that can affect your progress.