Many of us have enjoyed the luxury of working from home lately, but now our bosses want us back in the office. Possibly because 80% of managers don’t believe we work hard enough from home. So when your boss calls you back to the office, you have two options; look for a job elsewhere, or put a case together that will persuade him to let you work from home. Either way, these are the 6 skills to nail if you want to work from home.
Skills to Nail if you Want to Work From Home
The people who are lucky enough to work from home are most likely to be those working in digital or technical roles. No matter where you work, there will likely be a set of technical skills you must have to do your job. In addition to possessing this set of technical abilities, below are the soft skills to nail if you want to work from home.
1 – Being Friends with Technology
Any remote job will require you to master various apps, hardware and digital platforms; that’s a given. But that’s not the main reason that being friends with technology is one of the most obvious skills to nail if you want to work from home.
People who are confident with technology will find it easier to make friends with their remote team. When considering work, friendships may seem like they should take a backseat to your job. However, one of the main worries managers have about individuals doing remote work is that they miss out on workplace culture.
Conversely, one of the things that managers like about their team working on-site is the vibe it creates in the office. It’s not that they like to get involved in our personal lives. It’s more a case that seeing colleagues become friends gives managers confidence that we are invested in our working life. If they get the same vibe from remote workers, managers are less likely to see us as a flight risk and more likely to trust us to work from home.
2 – Focus
One of the main concerns employers have about working from home jobs is that we won’t be able to stay focused on work tasks. Managers worry that we won’t be able to manage our work-life balance effectively and that our personal life will creep into work time.
Workplaces with many remote workers may ask you to use a project management app like Asana or Trello to prove how you manage your time. However, using a pen and paper diary allows you to schedule personal appointments alongside work-related tasks. Physically writing things down is one of the skills to nail if you want to work from home because it has many benefits, including:
- Writing appointments in a diary helps you to visualise keeping your work and personal life separate making it easier to do
- It satisfies the logical left side of our brains so that the right side can get on with problem-solving and creating
- Crossing off tasks gives us a sense of satisfaction, making it easier to stay motivated and remain focused
- Writing in a journal also has untold benefits for our mental health
3 – Teamworking
When working from home, teamworking is undoubtedly more challenging. We can’t just walk up to someone’s desk and ask them for something. Instead, we must use a combination of phone calls, video calls, written communication skills, and maybe even social media to collaborate with colleagues.
Expert telecommuters utilise the above technologies to the max, not just when they have a video meeting scheduled with their boss.
4 – Willingness to Embrace Change
For most of us, working from home is still relatively new, and we are still working out how the whole thing works. Therefore it’s highly likely that we will come across new ways of doing things, and so will our team. So we must be willing to embrace change if we are to work effectively with a remote or hybrid team.
As a side note, with a recession looming, being willing to embrace change will give you less cause to worry about changing jobs should you need to.
5 – Trustworthiness
Let’s just cast our minds back to the days when working from the office was the norm. How do we develop trust with our superiors? We turn up on time, we look the part, we’re at our desks when we should be, and if anyone asks what we’re working on, we’re always quick to respond.
On the other hand, If there is ever a day we turn up late or look a little dishevelled, our bosses ask if we’re ok, and we may feel a little more under scrutiny than usual. It’s the same when working from home; as long as we toe the line, our boss will be happy. So how do we prove that when we’re not in their direct line of sight?
We can do many things to give the impression that we are trustworthy. For example, you can subtly let people know you are at your desk on time by saying good morning to your teammates on Slack, turning up a few minutes early to weekly video calls with tidy hair and clean clothes, and responding to emails promptly.
6 – Motivation
Working from home makes it much easier to lose motivation, which presents the opportunity to bring all of the above together. By making the best use of technology, we can work together as a team to hold each other accountable for what we say we will do.
For example, don’t wait until the weekly meeting to give an excuse for not completing a task on time. Instead of accepting that you can’t do something, pick up the phone with a colleague and ask them for help. Completing the task between you will demonstrate that you can use your initiative and work together as a team.
Or, if you think one of your teammates is being a bit quiet, why not arrange a video call to find out how they are?
When our bosses see that we are encouraging each other to stay motivated, they are more likely to trust us to get on with our jobs.
A Few Final Thoughts on the Essential Skills to Nail if you Want to Work From Home
Our bosses are more likely to trust us to work autonomously provided we can satisfy them that we have the necessary skills to remain focused, positive and productive. Before presenting a case to your boss or a future employer as to why they should trust you to work from home, prepare examples of times when you have demonstrated the above soft skills. Seeing that you can manage your workload and work as a team should give them less reason to turn down your request.
After reading this article, we hope you now have a better idea of the skills to nail if you want to work from home. If you have already nailed those skills and are being called back to the office, why not look at our latest jobs? Many employers we work with recognise the value of highly motivated individuals who can manage their workload.