Not sleeping enough, wasting time preparing and commuting, and spending a whole day in the office. This is a common experience of people that are working 9 to 5 jobs whose bosses don’t allow them to work remotely.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing number of people working remotely. As much as 62% of employees have expressed that they would like to continue working remotely even after the measures against the pandemic are over.
Some people have been working remotely even before the pandemic started. Employers have noticed the benefits that remote work brings to the workplace, and remote working is becoming more popular.
However, is every person skilled in a specific field a good fit for a remote job? Well, it might not be, as there is more to remote work than technical skills. I’ve listed some of the beneficial skills that every business should look for in a remote worker, with the intention of helping companies find the best employee for the role.
1. Technical skills required for the role
The most obvious skill that you should look for in a remote worker is the technical skill for the role that he is applying for. Technical skills can range from graphic design to machine learning, and there are common ways in which these skills are tested.
For particular roles, such as the roles of writers, previous work under their name should be enough to prove their experience. However, when it comes to programming languages, you can go a couple of steps further to make sure that their skills are up to your standards. Finding remote software professionals is easy as many seasoned offshore companies help you hire developers with the right skill set required for your project.
“In order to successfully hire a dedicated remote development team, for example, it is necessary to create comfortable working conditions and a daily schedule. And now, in remote mode, it is much easier to do this than before, since potential employees like to work from anywhere in the world, as evidenced by statistics,” says Slava Vaniukov, CEO of Softermii.
Whether manually or through some of the hiring software available online, you can test the knowledge of future workers through surveys, questionnaires, or by assigning them a specific task to complete.
Candidates that will work as developers have at least a basic understanding of other digital skills, such as online research. But when hiring for roles such as HR, you should do additional screening to see whether the candidates are good at navigating technical challenges.
If a couple of candidates have the same level of knowledge for the role, then you should evaluate them based on other skills on the list. Learning how to create an ideal candidate profile will require trial and error, but in the end, you will understand the qualifications of each client much better.
2. Communication skills
Communication will always be a highly appreciated skill in both the traditional workplace and at the remote workplace. The critical difference is that you can’t articulate your mood and emotion at a remote workplace, as well as you can face-to-face with a co-worker or a manager.
Online work requires the employee to be as clear and concise as possible while they deliver the necessary information. Since many companies are hiring non-native English speakers, it’s desirable to test the candidates for their ability to convey information.
A foreign accent isn’t a problem, but writing confusing messages or not knowing how to express yourself in a video call can lead to severe setbacks in numerous business processes. An important foundation for building a relationship between an employee and an employer in the remote workplace is maintaining professional communication.
3. Time-management skills
The fact that you can usually decide your work hours at the majority of remote jobs is a double-edged sword. While you can organize your day however you like, you can experience setbacks in the form of house chores, family members, and various other distractions.
Some people are more productive at their traditional office, while others enjoy the benefits of their home office more. Remote working will require you to have the willpower to organize the day in a way that will allow you to complete your daily work and not get distracted.
If you are looking for a remote job, you can draw attention to all the different ways in which you manage your time and stay on top of your tasks. As an employer, you would want to know how an applicant manages to function in the home office environment.
An employee that excels at the interview yet starts to slack off after some time will bring serious downsides to the company. That’s why it’s essential to find an all-around employee with the skills mentioned on this list rather than someone highly technical without the capabilities to perform at a remote workplace.
Employees that are breaking deadlines and have trouble being up-to-date with their work don’t necessarily need to be penalized. An HR could reach out to them, analyze their problems and help them to get back on track with their work. Presuming that the employee is good at their other tasks.
4. Proven remote experience
The majority of people had no prior remote experience until the beginning of the measurements taken to prevent Covid-19, and they have managed to do their job just as fine. However, if you are looking to hire exceptional candidates, it would be desirable to look for candidates that already have experience working remotely.
This attribute can be considered optional, as it’s not as important as communication or technical skills, yet it’s going to make onboarding much easier for the company. Remote experience doesn’t necessarily need to be remote work experience.
At this point, many college and high-school students have experienced at least a year of their education in an online environment. Organizing online events or attending online seminars can also be considered useful knowledge in the world of online business.
The structures of remote work companies and their processes can often differ from each other. For example, some companies are using remote.com to hire international staff according to local laws, while others track your time via related software.
Communicating the methods that are used to assess the quality of work of an employee and evaluating whether they’ve met their KPIs is an essential topic in the hiring process.
5. Digital literacy
Digital literacy is a broad category of being able to get familiar with new technologies quickly. Applicants that are experienced in developing software and programming are certainly considered digitally literate as they have spent many hours developing their skills through various methods.
A person that is a self-taught developer is also capable of:
- Online research
- Ability to adapt to new technology
- Fix minor problems that might occur.
However, employees in other roles aren’t usually as acquainted with such skills as developers are. Digital literacy is easily learned, but they are an important benefit to every remote worker.
Let’s say a content writer is working on an article and is ready to submit it to the company’s platform. A problem occurs, and the writer isn’t able to submit the article on time, which leads to him waiting on his supervisor to help him with this problem.
If the problem is fixable, someone with a high level of digital literacy can use his online research skills and quickly find a solution to the problem. You shouldn’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, and neither should you judge a writer by their ability to write code. But the ability to independently fix technical problems and embrace new technology are skills that should be appreciated in an employee.
You can’t work remotely without these skills
There are many brilliant minds that are working on developing new technology and software. With new fields in IT, there is a constant need for professionals that will do their job efficiently. Whether their workers are in the same state as the company or on another continent, companies have decided that remote workers are a valuable addition to their business.
Remote workers can deliver the same or better results as traditional workers, but they also have a higher incentive to do their job quickly and efficiently. On top of the benefits for the company itself, remote work equals less commute, which makes it eco-friendly.
Not all companies can see benefits from converting to a remote model, but it is a concept that is worth examining. Another benefit to remote work is that it allows companies to hire workers from other countries that are just as skilled in their fields as their local applicants. But when hiring non-native speakers, you should always make sure that they are fluent in English.