10 Skills Employers Value in WFH Employees

See also: Self-Motivation

The rise of remote work has changed the game for thousands of employees worldwide. Employers are no longer limited to local talent and are hiring people who live across time zones and oceans. Home-based workers benefit from having flexible hours, skipping a commute and eating budget-friendly, healthy meals.

However, working from home also comes with a unique set of challenges. Distractions, loneliness and poor time management can slow down remote employees. Employers are looking for people who can thrive and successfully balance work and life in the same space.

Here are 10 skills employers value in work-from-home employees.

1. Motivation

Every person is motivated differently. Some people are more productive when alone, while others work best when surrounded by others. You need to understand what motivates you and how to harness it to succeed in a remote role. Employers value workers who can keep themselves accountable.

People who work in a corporate setting are surrounded by other employees who subconsciously keep tabs on each other. They'll notice if you start blaring rock music or watching Netflix during work hours. It can be very challenging to push distractions away and stay motivated when you’re working alone.

2. Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is important for every person, but it’s especially helpful for remote workers. This means you’re resilient and can adapt without feeling crushed by changing circumstances or perceived failures. Your self-talk matters when you work alone all day.

Working from home is never exactly what you expect it to be. Some days are easy and filled with exciting projects, while others are difficult to get through. As much as you try to separate work from the rest of your life, it can be hard to keep life events from affecting your job. Some days, you’ll need to completely restrategize and approach things differently.

3. Compassion

Many believe working from home is easy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Some things get easier – no stressful commute, more personal space – while others are more difficult. For example, you’re more likely to be interrupted because people know your work hours are flexible.

Working from home can be challenging, so compassion is another essential attribute for remote employees. Good employers know that happy people contribute more to their work. Workers that are too hard on themselves can undermine their confidence, cause them to feel overwhelmed and even burn them out.

4. Organization

Organization is one of those qualities that every employer looks for. Being organized helps workers be efficient, professional and productive. This skill is vital for remote workers, but it’s one of the hardest things to achieve. There’s always something disorganized when working from home.

Untidy spaces can distract remote workers, whether it’s your child’s laundry or the dishes from last night. Keeping your house in order makes it much easier to stay focused and organized with your work. Most remote employers recommend having a dedicated space for your home office to combat this problem.

5. Focus

The ability to stay focused throughout the workday is crucial for remote employers. It can help to have a tidy office space. However, skilled remote workers train themselves to remain sharp even when their environments are messy. Working from home presents more distractions than usual, and many of them are unpredictable.

For example, consider this scenario. You’re working from home and your phone rings. You wouldn’t answer it if you were in an office, but in your house, you might be tempted to chat with friends throughout the day. Most remote workers successfully focus by refusing to multitask. They do housework after hours and work on one thing at a time.

6. Time Management

Employers also value time-management skills in their work-from-home employees. Remote workers have to create boundaries for tasks related to work and life. They don’t have a commute or a change in surroundings to let their brain know it’s time to work. Instead, home-based employees must build routines that help them own and protect their time.

Many remote workers devise creative ways to let their brains know when it's time to work and when it's time to stop for the day. For example, some employees burn a special candle, play a song or put on blue-light glasses before they start the day. Putting their computer out of sight helps many people unwind and disconnect after work is done.

7. Communication

Strong communication skills are a must for remote work. Keeping co-workers and supervisors updated is vital when you're not physically present in an office. Many remote positions use software to make communication easy. That way, everyone is on the same page and projects are completed quickly.

You should have strong written and verbal communication skills to be successful as a remote worker. Group dynamics and one-on-one video calls aren’t the same as in-person meetings. You have to rely on clear, brief communication that doesn’t leave room for any confusion. Asking questions and speaking frequently can help you shine.

8. Integrity

Integrity is essential for every good employee, whether they work at home or not. However, remote employers are especially concerned about integrity because their employees are alone most of the day. People that don’t have a strong sense of ethics and personal accountability can easily waste their employer’s time.

Many remote employers use a tracking system to keep their employees accountable. This helps people stay cognizant of their time and lets companies know more about their workers’ habits. Demonstrating integrity is essential for those who want to build trust with employers and advance their careers.

9. Proactivity

Remote employees also need strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Avenues for online communication do exist, but it can take a while for people to email or text each other back and forth. The best remote workers do what they can to solve issues independently before asking for help.

This is why proactivity is so important to remote employers. A remote work environment amplifies the need for efficiency, dedication and creativity. Of course, healthy work environments allow plenty of space for questions and mistakes. However, employees should work toward autonomy so their collaboration can be more fruitful.

10. Passion

Remote employers also look for a sense of passion in their employees. They want workers who are in love with life and preferably passionate about their jobs. These people are happier, stay with companies longer and contribute more during their employment. Passion is contagious, so one truly enthusiastic worker can improve an entire company’s culture.

Passion for one thing in your life can bring color to many other areas. For example, many remote workers are invested in caring for their families or a side hobby that work allows them to pursue. Fueling passion is important for remote work because it keeps employees engaged and focused on the future.

Improve Your Remote Skills

Remote employers love motivated individuals who invest in personal growth and want to improve. Use this list to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can start strengthening your skill set. The more you improve your personal life, the better equipped you’ll be to thrive as a remote employee.

One of the best parts of home-based work is the freedom you have to shape your day. You can work in whatever location motivates you most if you have a Wi-Fi connection. Some employers even allow flexible hours so you can work around childcare or health concerns. Remote work can be an amazing lifestyle choice for those with discipline.

About the Author

Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you'll find her in a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.