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HRDQ will be closed on Friday (5/24) and Monday (5/27) for Memorial Day
HRDQ will be closed on Friday (5/24) and Monday (5/27) for Memorial Day
Top Soft Skills Needed For Remote Work - HRDQ

Top Soft Skills Needed For Remote Work

Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, encompass skills like creativity, adaptability, and decision making. These skills are crucial to any workplace, but when paired with remote work, they become invaluable.

HRDQ’s extensive Reproducible Training Library offers customizable training materials that focus on more than 80 different soft skills training courses. While it’s good to develop as many soft skills as possible, today we’ll focus on the top skills you need to excel at remote work.

Clear and Effective Communication Skills

The ability to clearly and effectively communicate is one of the first skills employers look for, especially when hiring for remote work. In a digital setting, you must have the skills to clearly convey ideas and information to coworkers or clients. When collaborating on large projects, you want to make sure your ideas, input, or instructions are concise and unambiguous, in order to avoid confusion or possible errors.

In-person communication includes eye contact, body language and tonal shifts to convey a message and highlight the critical elements. When you’re communicating over chat rooms or emails, those extra levels of communication are obviously nonexistent. Instead, you must depend on how well you put what you mean on paper.

HRDQ’s course Put it in Writing covers how to write content that is organized, concise, formatted correctly, and professional, no matter the subject. If you understand how to prepare content and share information in a way that’s simple to understand, it’ll help you stand out, manage successful projects and build credibility.

Listen With Intent

Active listening is more than just hearing what the other person says; it’s picking up on non-verbal clues like body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. Remote work eliminates face-to-face communication, so it’s crucial that you develop this soft skill. Phone calls or Zoom meetings become the only way to verbally communicate, and you may only get one chance in an entire work day, making it critical to listen with intent

If you learn to pick up on tonal shifts, it can help you build trust with others by offering support, acknowledgement and demonstrating empathy. Strong listening skills can also increase cooperation and collaborative problem solving, things needed for a successful business and a positive work environment.

Workplace Flexibility and Resilience

In order to be successful in remote work, you must be flexible and able to adapt to unexpected changes. Being flexible can mean assisting coworkers with assignments, taking on some extra work, or working different hours if a project is behind schedule. It also means that when stressful situations occur, you know how to identify the problem, address it and move on. 

HRDQ’s customizable course on Resilience is here to help you build the soft skills necessary to deal with change calmly and professionally. Being able to embrace and accept change can make you more dependable and valuable but be careful about overexerting yourself. Working from home blurs the work/life balance and it’s important to know when it’s time to “clock out” for the day. 

Leadership From Home

There’s no company out there that isn’t looking for employees with leadership skills. Being a leader means making tough decisions, managing successful projects, mentoring teammates, managing workplace conflicts, and more. The remote work environment calls for leadership even more often than the office where typically there is a senior decision maker on hand. Working from home means you must become your own manager and make decisions about which step comes next or how to handle difficult projects.

Our Leadership 101 course will walk you through how to develop your self-awareness, strengthen your ability to make decisions in a crisis, and how to build trust with your coworkers. Becoming a role model, and someone admired by coworkers will give you the confidence and credibility to lead your team to the finish line of more successful projects.

Effective Time Management

Remote work requires you to make decisions about how you spend your time. Working from home can come with many distractions like pets that need attention, family members who disturb you, or household chores and errands. Managing project deadlines and balancing your workload is imperative if you’re going to succeed in remote work. You need to have the skill to prioritize work and finish the most important tasks first before moving onto smaller projects. 

Everyone’s skill set is slightly different, so time management can be difficult for some and easy for others. It’s important to learn a system that works for you. Our Time Management course takes all personalities into account. This course will show you different time management styles and assess your personal style. You’ll learn to recognize some of the tell-tale signs of Procrastination earlier in the cycle so you can take steps to minimize it or conquer it all together.

Ability to Create Positive Relationships

As we’ve discussed, remote work can make communication more difficult. There are typically fewer meetings, less face to face time, and fewer instances of verbal communication. Being able to build work relationships is extremely valuable when working remote. Interpersonal skills begin with understanding others, and if there’s a breakdown in empathy and trust then the effectiveness of you and your coworkers diminishes. 

Forging relationships with coworkers is more difficult via email and Zoom but is still necessary.  Learn how you can develop positive relationships at work, with HRDQ’s course offering scenarios, and models positive behavior that build trust and confidence. Developing deeper relationships with people can foster teamwork, help you learn different communication styles, and help reduce workplace conflicts.

Learn Valuable Remote Work Soft Skills with HRDQ

Interpersonal skills are the key to relationships, team building, and personal growth. These skills can ease conflicts and lessen the stress that remote work can bring.

At HRDQ, we provide high-quality training resources to help organizations effectively manage their teams and get the most out of their employees. Our customizable Reproducible Training Library is full of downloadable programs to help you develop soft skills and foster success.

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.