Soft skills are a combination of non-technical, social and behavioral skills that are required for workers to achieve long-term success in their careers. Although the value of role-specific capabilities are tremendous, they are a given to employers. Those who truly thrive in the corporate world are the people who can work successfully in teams, especially given the business shift to teamwork and collaboration. Studies have shown that employers care more about having teams of employees whose skills complement each other’s, rather than extraordinary individuals who cannot work together. Communication is one of the most sought-after soft skills in business, and its importance is rising with the increase in remote work.
Working from home, with its undeniable benefits for productivity and output, carries the misconception that it eliminates the need for soft skills. On the contrary, soft skills are of increased importance in virtual environments. Employees must commit additional effort to strengthening their communication skills, and keeping in touch with their coworkers, especially since the idea of permanent in-person workforces is fading away. You might wonder which employee skills used outside of a physical corporate environment matter. Here are some of the most integral soft skills for remote working:
It should come as no surprise that communication is the most important skill of all. In the remote working world, given that in-person conversations are not feasible, this means use of communication of all kinds: emails, video calls, voice calls, instant messages and exclusive communication platforms that some businesses provision for their teams. Employees should excel at writing detailed emails that convey their thoughts, while also ensuring concision. Tasks are mainly accomplished in teams; therefore, for corporations to achieve success, they must seek to hire employees who are able to communicate efficiently and effectively with one another.
Now that there are no official clock-in or clock-out times, employees must learn to manage their time to the best of their ability. Sure, there are the mandatory meetings, calls and timelines; however, there is no physical enforcement of work time. It’s essential that employees learn to use their strong work ethic to accomplish all their objectives in a timely manner, without letting it substantially interfere with their work-life balance.
Even though employees can be as dedicated and driven at home as they would be in the office, there are inevitable distractions that do go on at home. In order to ensure a healthy and functioning work environment, employees must be understanding of their coworkers’ obligations and personal lives. The new normal might include a crying baby in the background of an important meeting, and that should not illustrate a lack of professionalism; alternatively, it demonstrates the multifaceted truth about life.
Willingness to Learn
Virtual working does not hinder workers’ learning opportunities, it merely pivots the strategy. Remote workers are more responsible for their own learning than when they were directly supervised in offices. Given the decreased in-person accessibility of colleagues, employees must be able to accomplish certain tasks, and learn how to solve problems, that are out of their realm of specialization. This communal eagerness to learn in businesses drives them rapidly toward long-term success.
At CoreAxis, we recognize the tremendous value of soft skills and believe that value is rising at a faster pace than ever before. Our goal is to help our clients reach their maximum potential and success, while providing custom content that takes into account each employee’s unique strengths and characteristics. To that end, we offer engaging training programs to enhance soft skills in individuals that also benefit the organization as a whole.