Working remotely has made professionals develop a different set of skills, as the shift to output-based work has dominated the 8 to 5 work habits of the past. Both employers and employees have now adjusted to the WFH arrangement, and this may be a trend even in the post-pandemic.
Jobseekers at these trying times would have to triple their efforts in showcasing their abilities to be an “ideal WFH-employee.” Based on LinkedIn data gathered from March 2020 to May 2020, there has been a spike in the number of remote jobs advertised in Asia-Pacific countries—such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and India. Even though WFH jobs are either temporary or permanent, recruiters are on the lookout for the right talents who can thrive with this work setup. If you are planning—or already in the process—to apply for WFH jobs, here is a list of skills you need to possess and highlight on your next interview:
1. Well-Balanced and Organized
Working remotely entails a different type of time and project management, as juggling both work and personal priorities merge. A well-balanced and organized employee must be able to be on track with priorities and deadlines, despite fulfilling household duties.
From writing down what you need to accomplish up to using the Pomodoro Technique, having a system that works for you and that benefits your team will create a balance between your work and personal life—thus giving you a well-balanced lifestyle.
2. Excellent Communicator and Collaborator
Being able to effectively communicate through virtual is more rigorous and actually takes more effort than speaking face-to-face with colleagues. Virtual meetings require an extra level of understanding of communication cues that aren’t easily visible or heard. It means keeping your audience engaged with all the resources you have (such as your mic, camera, supporting visuals in your screen, music, etc.) are some of the key elements to make your points across, make yourself understood, convince others and easily sell your ideas. Communication may happen in different channels online through chats, emails, calls –and knowing when, what, and how you compose your thoughts through these channels make a difference.
3. Tech-Savvy and Resourcefulness
Although the role you may be applying to may not be too technical, being well-acquainted with the basic hardware and software knowledge will help you work more efficiently. While companies try to provide their WFH employees with the tools and equipment needed for an employee to perform well, knowing how to troubleshoot, solve technical mishaps, and a good affinity of digital solutions/apps/tools to get work done is a major plus for employers.
4. Growth Mindset-Oriented
It may be difficult to learn from or ask for help from others without your peers and mentors around during work hours. Having a keen sense of learning and the mindset to learn on your own are some of the aspects for your continuous growth, even outside the workplace. As a thought leader in digital transformation and talent acquisition, Asia Select President and CEO Hans Bayaborda reiterates the need for leaders and teams to adopt a growth mindset in order to navigate organizations in the new business environment. Growth starts when you undergo challenges and learn from the setbacks you encountered. Having a growth mindset means you are resilient and you have the desire to learn and be better.
5. Highly Adaptable
Some organizations have undergone management and process changes at the onset of the pandemic, while some might still be in the process of enforcing these changes. It is then essential for organizations to have talents who can adjust to the modifications made in the company’s status quo. Being adaptable means being able to fit a certain behavior regardless of the environment he or she is in. It means being champions who are open to change, are drivers of process improvement, and are opportunists to possibilities.
6. A Proactive Kick-starter
The office environment helps create social cues that help motivate employees to work. However, working at home can promote a lot of distractions with no one to monitor or call you out for slacking off. Remote working requires being largely independent, and with a good grasp on working at your own time, pace while being mindful of deadlines. Hiring Managers shortlist candidates who are independent, self-sufficient, and efficient. When hired as a remote worker, being able to deliver quality output beyond what is expected can send a good impression to the manager, plus it can also help you progress in your career.
Do you currently possess these traits? Think of the ways on how you are able to showcase these skills and describe them in your interview. Post-pandemic, there is no 100% guarantee that most companies will still continue to encourage work-from-home setup for their people. Once organizations require their people to return to their workplaces, the soft skills you have developed will not go to waste. In fact, these skills will be more essential than ever, because they make up the characteristics of the Now Normal professional—a tech-savvy and engaging colleague who works productively, copes with changes, and delivers beyond what is expected despite the shortcomings.