3 Critical Skills You Need as a Remote Worker

Within the past years, the digital nomad community is increasing in full upswing. Especially now. Everyone was sold to the idea of working remotely, whenever and wherever it is convenient. Maximizing each of your dollars by months and months of living in Asia. Exploring the what nature has to offer and hanging out by the beach, sipping coconut and working “on the side”. However, as a remote worker myself, I must say, it is not for everyone. In fact, I have come with a realization that there are 3 critical skills you need to as a remote worker. These three skills are by all means non-negotiable. So, let’s dig in.

Time Management

Well, this one is a no-brainer. Working remotely means you don’t work within the usual 9-5. If you’re lucky, you’ll be working whenever. When you’re new to this, two things can happen. One is that you procrastinate and keep pushing your tasks for later. Or you spent the whole day doing nothing but work. In my case, I was the later. I sleep with my laptop an arm reach away. I’m eating breakfast while checking Skype messages and emails. You can be sure that I’ll be jumping in my laptop and start working right after. The things is, I’m just home and work never really ends. You won’t even notice that 5 hours have gone by. Work can easily consume. the. whole. you.

To some, it’s the other way around. They barely get anything done. I managed people who tend to push tasks for later, because you know, they’re just home. They’re find it hard to drive themselves to work because they got use with the fact that home is not a place for working. At the end of the day, they find themselves cramming to get it done and this results to half-baked outputs.

While remote working promises work-life balance, it doesn’t always follow. This is something you have to work on yourself. The best thing to do is to establish a routine. Work will never end so learn to shut down your computer when it’s time. The same goes with the later, condition your mind to work from home because time wouldn’t stop for you. Set schedules, have a dedicated workspace, be in your work outfit if you must. Establishing a routine is one of the best ways to “forsee” how long it will take you to get things done.

Once you mastered managing your time, your remote career is set for life. You’ll even be able to work with multiple clients, projects, and you’ll be able to do things you wanted.

Problem Solving

Working remotely has its own fair share of challenges. After managing over 50 freelancers in 3 years, those who knows their way to solve did stand out to me. The thing is, when you are working remotely, expect that your client will not micromanage you. You clients won’t solve things for you. Clients expects you to have the ability to find solutions and get the work done.

Keep in mind that you are there to help your clients, so waiting for your clients to solve things for you is such a turn off. With almost every solution searchable on Google, you have no excuse to not do it. If you know your way around solving things and you’re resourceful enough, I promise you, you’ll clients will be more than happy to sing your praises.

The best thing to do is, keep an “I can solve this” mindset.  You’ll be surprised how talented and resourceful you are when put in the right opportunities. Plus, solving things is a great way to learn. Copywriting, web development, and, designs are just few of the skills I’ve picked up by solving things. It takes practice to have a mindset that keeps trying to solve things but not impossible!

Writing Skills

One of the most underrated skills but when working online, it is a must have. You see, most of the communications happens through Slack (or Skype, or whatever you guys will use.), emails, and your project/task management systems. You don’t have to be a wordsmith but at least you have to be able to write in a clear and concise manner. Your writing skill is very important when sending emails. 

It is also very important in sending instructions or inquiries. Without clear instructions and right questions, the correct work won’t get done and you wouldn’t get the answer you need.

Communication breakdowns can happen very easily. At times, a grammar mistake can make your whole statement misunderstood. Especially when english is not everyone’s mother tongue. So never underestimate the power of being able to communicate in writing flawlessly. 

A few rules that I go by: Stop blabbing. Always re-read before I press send. And when sending instructions? Ask them to repeat what you said, that way you’ll know how they understood you and you’ll be able to correct things before any mishap happens.