4 Skills Needed to Be Successful at Remote Work

April 4, 2017

8:30 pm

In 2015, 23 percent of employees reported doing a portion of their work remotely, up from 19 percent in 2003, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. But despite the growth in employees who identify as remote workers  – as well as employers seeking remote workers – there is a gap between how those in a traditional work environment can develop skills to excel remotely.

We asked seven women who work remotely to share the skills they believe are needed to be successful in a remote role. Check out what they had to say below:

Become an Expert Communicator

“Communication is hard, remote communication is a lot worse. Bad communication is everywhere. The tiniest slip of the mind or finger can undermine a carefully planned communication strategy. Being remote actually allows you to practice intentional and thoughtful communication far more. Own this skill and let it be a second nature to you.”

– Liz van Dijk of Percona

Claim Ownership Over the Process

“You must have confidence to take control of everything – for the sake of your success and happiness.”

– Kat Loughrey of CloudPeeps

“I’ve needed the ability to push projects forward on my own. I decide what needs to happen next without needing to consult anyone.”

– Angela Rollins of Tortuga

Intentionally Recreate the Water Cooler

“I took for granted how many breaks are built into a traditional office job. From casually chatting in the office kitchen to walking to another part of the office to do something. As a remote worker, it's very easy to get overworked and forget to give your brain a rest.”

– Arielle Tannenbuam of Buffer

“I've had to work hard over the years to become disciplined – not at getting my work done, but at putting it down.”

– Sarah Hawk of FeverBee

“Outside input and inspiration for your work is very important. I had to take control of building a professional network and community around my new workstyle.”

– Laura Winton, Content Creator and Social Media Manager

Establish a Workspace That Works

“Set it up for healthy posture, comfort, and efficiency. Your dedicated workspace shouldn’t be in a random spare room in a corner – inspirational vibe is key! Remember, remote working is not for everyone. If you need to be in a building with people physically present to get the energy, direction, and connections you need to feel motivated, working remotely isn’t for you.”

– Aimee Charlton of Best Friends Animal Society

The idealism around remote work is like the pedestal we place startup founders on in popular culture. Some tend to only see the benefits of skipping a commute or the freedom to travel. Being successful at remote work takes a specific skill set and requires sacrifices.

Read more about remote work here on Tech.Co 

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Jacqueline Jensen is the Community Evangelist at Piktochart. She is a former venture-backed startup founder, recognized storyteller, and relationship builder. As Community Evangelist, Jacqueline shares Piktochart innovation with various groups at conferences, and enjoys meeting users around the globe.