Working from home, also known as telecommuting, is becoming increasingly popular. It offers flexibility, minimizes strict schedules, removes daily distractions from bothersome colleagues, and there is no need to commute.
This sounds like a dream to most people in traditional office settings who don’t get to experience such benefits.
However, working from home isn’t for everyone. And not everyone will enjoy it, regardless of how good it sounds. It can quickly become a nightmare if you are not ready for such an unstructured and isolated environment.
I have worked from home for several years now as a freelance writer at Edugeeksclub. When I started, I felt overwhelmed. With no-one to count my hours, I would wake up whenever I felt like, slack around setting up my home. And by the time I got to my writing, I would have wasted most of my day time.
As a result, I became less productive at my work.
Generally, working from home requires a lot of focus, critical thinking, and self-motivation. I had to learn new skills to work efficiently from home.
Here are ten skills that are essential for working from home:
Contrary to a traditional office environment, you are alone at home with no face-to-face contact with your colleagues. With this type of setting, it can be challenging for some people to remain excited about the work they are doing at home.
You need to have high level of self-motivation to become more productive. Generally, selecting work in your area of interest helps to retain your enthusiasm.
2. Self-Organization and Self-Discipline
Contrary to popular belief, working from home can put immense pressure on you. You might have to keep records, send invoices monthly, constantly manage your email, meet deadlines, and set up your work schedule all on your own without any assistance.
When you work from home, it is crucial to generate a simple system which assists you to manage your tasks, clients, and deadlines.
You will need to generate a daily planner in order to manage your time efficiently. You can use this goal setting worksheet to help you with your aims and outcomes.
Being time conscious is important and you’ll need to be able to plan your time wisely. For instance, I write for clients from various parts of the world. Knowing the different time zones helps me plan my day efficiently and also meet my clients’ demands. I mark up the dates and time zones so I don’t miss my deadlines.
4. Communication Skills
Communication skills are utterly a necessity if you plan to work remotely. Clients and employers put a lot of trust on someone who works from home. Lack of proper communication – think emails, instant messaging, calls- or delayed response could mean loss of trust, and your income along with it.
Also, it is important to remain professional and use proper etiquette when responding in order to avoid a misunderstanding.
5. Writing Skills
The writing industry is broad, and with it comes several opportunities that require various skills for writing letters, ads, press releases, and blog posts. Identify your stronghold in writing and focus on that.
6. Networking Skills
To help ensure your income is constant, you will need to do some networking. You may need to do some outreach and pitch to prospective clients or partners.I find it challenging as an introvert, but you develop strong networking skills once you become accustomed to rejection and thinking in terms of your livelihood.
7. Tech Savvy
You will need to learn your software and hardware, even if your job isn’t a technical one. I have to be able to navigate through various content management systems for the websites I write for such as Hubspot and WordPress, and communicate with clients on programs like Google Hangout and Skype.
Being fast and efficient on the computer will be of great benefit when working remotely, whether it’s for social media management or data entry.
8. Accounting and Bookkeeping
You are running your own business when working from home. That means you will need to keep records and accounts in order to account for the income generated by your business. This will also help you determine whether or not working from home is beneficial and how to grow your business.
Above all, the most important skill is to be able to avert the numerous distractions competing for your attention. Be it house chores or family members and friends who show up unannounced, something will always try to distract you from work. You must create a work schedule that aligns with your mental and physical energy.
10. Critical and Creative Thinking
I came to realize how important colleagues and teammates serve as sounding boards with regards to generating new ideas. When working remotely, you’ll have to think critically and creatively on your own. Plan time aside to think and utilize tools such as Mind Mapping to assist you in generating new ideas fast.
Some of these skills will take time to get used to, others you may need to learn from scratch altogether. But one thing for sure is that they are essential to working from home productively.
Which Skills Help You Work From Home?
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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