Most people think that getting a job in a virtual company is synonym of flexibility and, to some extent it is, but that freedom has to be equally matched by responsibilities – it’s a give and take that not everybody is able to balance.
With that said, there are definitely some skills you’ll need to be successful as a remote worker to be able to meet the expectations of your employer. Let’s expose those skills so you can figure out if you’re cut out for it.
Although you’ll probably be miles away from each other, keeping in touch with other team members is a constant matter in this kind of job, that’s why good communication is a must. Take into account that you will be attending regular phone and video meetings as well as managing emails and written assignments. This is a key point because some people prefer personal interaction and that’s a very limited commodity in a remote job.
There isn’t a single virtual job that doesn’t require you to use common technology tools. That doesn’t mean you have to be an expert, but rather, that you have to be open to work with new apps and have some tech-savviness in you. Platforms like Skype, CRMs, time-tracking tools, email platforms, and others will be a part of your daily routine – you simply can’t ignore it. Of course, experience using project management-type tools is definitely a plus.
Self Management Skills
This is a highly valued skill when it comes to remote work. Your performance will, most likely, be measured by results rather than time spent (or maybe both). Meeting deadlines is not just for yourself though, on-time results are necessary for a remote team to work cohesively, specially if others depend on your work. Additionally, the very probably time difference of 12+ hours between each other will make for long, out-of-budget projects if not handled efficiently.
Independence and Proactivity
As a remote worker you have to be able to work independently and proactively. Based on the time difference, there might be occasions in which you won’t have anyone around to ask a particular question. A little independence and proactivity will take you a long way in those situations.
Virtual companies are looking for people who can keep themselves on track. Being able to organize your activities and allocate the time you can spend on each one will help you achieve the discipline you’ll need. Try using to-do lists as well as respecting your estimates to stay on top of your tasks. Above all, remember that flexibility isn’t a synonym of “disorganization”.
When you’re working from home, it could be a little difficult to avoid distractions. Setting an office space, limiting your social media interactions, and avoiding constant switches between one task and another could help you be more productive. However, at the end of the day, you have to be the type of person who will place the right limits for yourself to make sure your work gets done no matter what.
Remote workers sometimes work more than they actually think and overworking can affect productivity and satisfaction. When your job begins to collide with your personal life, it results in feeling overloaded and, sometimes can lead to nonconformity. Being able to set a healthy balance between your personal life and work is of great importance.
If you think you have all of these must-skills, it’s time to start searching for a virtual job for you!