The Top 7 Critical Performance Skills to be a Remote Relevant Employee

Now is the Time to Optimise Your Remote Skills to Stay Ahead of the Pack

N ot everyone easily slips straight into the flow of a remote or hybrid work schedule. Some of the skills and disciplines that are required may need some reengineering or adjustment. Work habits are exactly that, habits that are formed from repeated routine which essentially become our second nature. As remote and hybrid work has increased so dramatically since COVID, much of the need to adapt has come from forced change. This type of change can result in adopting coping habits, rather than self motivated and intentional skill adjustments.

Listed below are the Top 7 Work Disciplines and Skill Habits that create a high performing remote/hybrid worker. Everyone will relate to some or all of these skill categories. We have also  included some optimisation tips on how you can improve relevant categories with practical application.

Skill 1: Digital Literacy


It has now become more important than ever to have strong digital literacy skills. This is considered a necessary employability skill for modern workers. It is defined as the ability to confidently use digital technologies to live, learn and work in a society where communication and information access relies on its use.

This social demand has also created a new type of employee that needs to have a good working knowledge of a range of application technology, in order to adopt the multi skill sets required to work across business functions. The more employees have competency in a diverse range of technologies used in the business, the more they work with cross organisational integration in mind.

The remote working model has only increased the need for employees with multi digital skill sets. This has also started an emerging trend with recruiting for new talent, as these multi skill sets are highly valuable.

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Start identifying and learning relevant technologies that your organisation uses and make it your business to get up to speed.

Even if they are not used in your current role, they can provide you with further career opportunities and future proofing.

Skill 2: Adaptability


One of the major abilities that remote and hybrid workers need is adaptability. Examples of this can be different working environments, unexpected technology issues, thinking on your feet, dealing with home life and boundary issues. Not to mention working with stress and the different pressures the remote location brings, including access restriction to people and resources.

This really can be stressful for some more than others, depending on work style and personality makeup etc. Either way, unexpected or unpredictable changes in your day may not be as easy to manage in a remote location. We sometimes don’t realise how much we rely on the immediate relational support, expertise and quick access to resources of the physcial work environment.

Strong adaptability skills help us to be resilient and manage the  unexpected when the plan goes out the window.

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Keep refocusing your plan multiple times a day, like a GPS that reroutes when you get of course. Don’t throw it out the window!

Reprioritising and writing down your new Number #1 task can help download your mental clutter and reduce anxiety.

Skill 3: Resilience


Since the global pandemic started, early 2020, resilience has been a major challenge for both employees and organisations alike. As we entered the biggest upheaval in work history, the long term toll on staff resilience levels is still be measured. Much of the research done so far has shown that some of the resulting issues have been poor work/life balance, social isolation, mental health issues, fear of uncertainty and job security.

Many organisations have implemented training support and employee assistance programs, as well as other helpful tools for their staff. The most positive thing remote and hybrid workers can do is to create healthy routines to support and balance their work flow. Longer working hours and poor boundaries have been reported by a large number of remote employees in recent surveys. This is not surprising, as most now are working in the same environment they live in.

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There is no set formula. Find what out works best for you and keeps your work stress in a healthy zone.

Find pattern interruption techniques that snap you out of work mode and switch you into home life.

Some of these could be walking at a specific/finish time or sitting quietly for 15-20 min before you interact with others.

Skill 4: Productive Habits


Management experts agree that working in a remote or hybrid work environment requires a completely different approach to employee expectation. Working 9-5 is no longer a measure of employee input, it now must be measured on results and definable outputs. The onus then falls on the employee to have focused and strategic habits, to create the right workflow result, versus the time given.

This means remote employees need effective self-management and self-motivation skills. This thinking is about creating positive work momentum in your day and focusing on supporting activities and organised thought.

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There is no set formula, find what out works best for you and keeps work stress and task output in a healthy flow.

Focus on results and output, not the amount of time you feel obligated to give.

Plan your day, continually bringing back to the Number #1 focused task to improve organised thought practice.

Approach your day with a flexible mindset that supports positive momentum, not time output.

Skill 5: Strategic Communicator


In a remote model, written communication increases to approximately 50%. Although this has its advantages, for example more time to reflect and review the message to ensure it has the intended impact/interpretation, it can still leave voids and gaps. Most people communicate more out of what’s convenient, versus using a strategic approach. In a remote or hybrid model, having a communication strategy and plan is the key to success.

Some of the things to include in the plan could be to learn the style preferences of your colleagues and adapt accordingly. Whether that be using written or virtual instant messaging or other verbal methods, like phone calls for example.

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Start to analyse the different communication preferences of colleagues and practice adapting your style to their preference.

Make better use of virtual meeting tools to communicate. For example, use a virtual whiteboard to visualise your thoughts.

Ask for constructive feedback from colleages on how you communicate and adopt any useful suggestions.

Skill 6: Problem Solving


Everyone has the ability to solve problems based on experience and our intuitive skills. Problem-solving skills is actually a critical thinking methodology and applied practice used in business to manage complex issues. Its main benefit is to identify the range of options and possible outcomes, based around a logical thinking process.

There are many models that can be used, some of these are Appreciative Inquiry, FEMA, IDEAL, Six Thinking Hats to name just a few. All of these have their specific pros and cons depending on what you are trying to solve.

In a remote model, problem-solving skills have been identified as one of the core skills that are needed in a remote workflow. As you may not always be able to get immediate responses from walking over to a specialist or a colleague, the ability to adapt and use problem-solving skills can minimise many challenges.

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Spend some time reseaching formal problem solving methods.

Think about how formal problem solving approaches could be more effective in your daily role and start to integrate.

Find a good training program that takes you through problem solving models to fast track your learning.

Skill 7: Team Builder


One of the core challenges of remote and hybrid working models is the effect on team cohesion. Unless there is a specific strategy to create opportunity for team building and address relational fragmentation, in the long run teams can suffer. As a remote worker, taking the initiative and looking for ways to have meaningful and supportive connection can be critical to building team cohesion.

One way organisations are addressing this is to increase the communication for individual feedback, as well as collective sessions for the team. Conducting training sessions around relevant skill topics, for example; resilience or communication, has been one way that organisations have found to support remote relational fragmentation.

Creating fun relational sessions, such as quiz and trivia or team building activities can be really powerful for team morale.

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Find ways to become a team builder by listening to others and their challenges and offering support.

Put on a fun virtual session. Virtual tools like Zoom have question and polling functions as well as breakout rooms you can use.

Create collective feedback sessions so people feel they are on the virtual team journey together as they share and encourage others.

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