Unlocking The Secrets Of The Effective Remote Worker

By Mark C. Perna | Aug 24, 2020
 Mark C. Perna | ACHNET

A career coach shares valuable tips on how to stand out—virtually.

With all the buzz around the challenges of working from home, it’s easy to forget the positive opportunities that a remote workforce can offer. As new remote strategies and best practices are emerging, employers are asking: What are the defining traits of an effective remote worker?

At the same time, employees are asking themselves: What are the secrets of effective remote work? How can I take my remote work game to the next level, amid an increasingly crowded field?

I recently connected with Brie Reynolds, Career Development Manager and Coach at FlexJobs, to talk through the challenges and opportunities for the newly remote workforce. Here’s what she had to share.

Secrets of a successful remote worker

We already know that remote work is so much more than simply changing the location of where you work. It’s a whole different way of approaching workflow, communication, time management and work-life blend—and it requires new skills and adaptations to reach your maximum productivity and career satisfaction.

“One of the main indications that a remote worker is struggling is lack of communication. Out of sight, out of mind can be an issue for those working from home,” says Reynolds. The best remote workers proactively reach out to coworkers and managers regularly through email, phone, internal chats and other tools.

Other areas where successful remote workers shine? “Time and task management, the ability to focus and be self-motivated, and comfort with technology are all critical traits,” says Reynolds. “A growth mindset is also important in a remote environment, alongside an overall curious, interested approach to your work.”

“If a person ‘goes dark’ for periods of time throughout the day, without letting coworkers know, it can be a red flag that they need to improve their efforts to communicate often and well.”

Interviewing for a remote position

Remote interviews are changing the way people get hired—and employers are looking for candidates who display professionalism, attention to detail and preparation. “During the remote interview process, make sure to discuss any previous experience working remotely,” advises Reynolds. “That can include fully remote work, partially remote work and even occasionally remote work—as long as you can show that you were productive and effective during whatever time you spent working from home.”

Stories are a powerful interviewing strategy, allowing you to showcase your skills and personality while keeping the interviewer’s attention. Reynolds says, “Candidates should talk about the methods and systems they use to keep themselves focused, how they stay organized, and explain