7 Basic Skills Required for
Online or Work from Home Jobs

See also: Working from Home: Top Tips

Work from home and online jobs are not new. These opportunities have been around for quite a while and many people are now able to make a living from the comfort of their home. Given the recent pandemic, we have seen an increase in the opportunities to work from home and online jobs.

You can find a wide range of these job openings on various job portals.

However, alongside this increase in working from home opportunities there has also been a significant increase in the number of people seeking online jobs, mainly due to the pandemic. Given the direction the job market is going, and the way current pandemic is panning out, we here list some of the basic skills that you will need to get work from home or an online job.

If you can improve and demonstrate these skills, then you will stand a better chance of getting an online job.

Technical Skills

The current job market is quite competitive and so the more skills you have, the better your chance of being hired. Technical skills are much sought after by recruiters looking to employ people in online jobs. The jobs which require technical know-how often come with better compensation too.

So, why not try to learn a new technical skill or, if you already know a few software applications or programming languages, why not try to improve or update these skills. Most work from home jobs will require you to be constantly connected to the internet and will assign you work that requires you to use one or more software programs.

For example, many work from home jobs require you to have good knowledge of MS Word, Excel or Access. Research what technical skills are needed for online work in your field, learn or improve on these skills, and you will increase your chance of getting a work from home job.

Communication Skills

Good communication skills are important in any line of work and you will be assessed on these at interview. You need a good command of official language of the organization. Since most of your work will be remote and you will be communicating by email or another similar channel, you also need good written communication skills.

You will need to communicate clearly with your boss or manager, updating them on what you have been doing and the progress made on your assignments. You may also be expected to participate in online meetings where you are expected to communicate clearly with other team members.


When you are working from home, no one is supervising you constantly. Your manager will probably set you deadlines to complete your assignments, but they won't be walking past your cubicle every so often asking you about progress.

So, you need to be organized in your work. In an office scenario there are multiple people who can trigger your memory or let you know about your tasks and assignments. When working from home you will probably not receive any reminders, only a request for the completed task when the deadline is due.

So, learn to organize your tasks. You need to show your interviewer that you will be a reliable employee and can work with due diligence. This means keeping track of your progress and meeting all deadlines, which brings us to the next skill.

Time Management

Even if you are keeping track of your progress you might easily be overwhelmed by multiple tasks and deadlines that hamper your performance. To be an effective work from home employee, you have to be able to effectively manage your time. When you are organizing your deadlines, mark them on a calendar and schedule specific time for each task. Try to keep to this schedule religiously.

In an office setting the environment is different and it keeps you on your toes as you try to crunch in as much work as you can during office hours. At home you can easily be distracted and might think that you have more time to do your work. Such thinking can work against you so be disciplined in keeping to your schedule and meeting deadlines.

To help you take time out for yourself and your family, try to be as specific and detailed as possible when designing your schedule. Our suggestion is to use the Pomodoro technique, or another similar technique, which can help you get a lot of work done without overloading yourself.


When you are working from home it is easy to get distracted, be it by your family or by social media. Plus, there is no supervision to stop you from looking at your phone and social media every few minutes!

Any distraction will cause a break in your focus and you may then find it difficult to resume your work. If you feel that you get distracted easily, then try to work from an isolated place and use any application which helps you block social media notifications.

Try listening to focusing music: you can find a variety of "concentration music" online. This style of music is monotonous with very little change in pattern, but it can help you get into a zone and work for long stretches of time enabling you to get more work done.

Being Comfortable Working Alone

You might be accustomed to office life where you had meetings with other team members and regular face to face conversations. If you enjoyed such a social setting, then working from home can reduce your motivation to work.

Many companies who hire people to work from home assign tasks to individual employees rather than to teams. You therefore have to prove to your recruiter that you can work independently even though you may not be accustomed to such a setting.

Data Entry

We decided to keep this last point for people who want to earn a few bucks working online from home. A popular field of work for people looking to work from home is data entry jobs. Yes, the pay may not be something to brag about but if you stick with it you can make a living out of it.

So, improve your typing skills and learn to use a few data entry software programs as this will increase your chance of getting a job. Since there are a lot of opportunities for data entry related work, you can apply for these and even get one even if you don’t have the right skills.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Living the ‘New Normal’ in the Age of Covid-19

The Skills You Need Guide to Living the ‘New Normal’
in the Age of Covid-19

This eBook is designed to help you through the process of ‘going digital’ and managing other aspects of life during a pandemic.

From how to get yourself online, through how to keep safe, to working, learning and staying in touch with friends and family remotely, the Skills You Need Guide to Living the 'New Normal' in the Age of Covid-19 covers the key skills you need to survive and thrive.

We hope we have given you an idea of the basic skills which can help you be an effective work-from-home employee. We wish you all the best for your job search.

About the Author

Anirban is a working professional at a multinational company. He is passionate about writing and contributes to various blogs and websites. He has a background in Business & Marketing and is motivated to share his ideas based on experience and research to help others.