Remote working comes with an enviable list of perks; from a better work-life balance and more time to spend with friends and family, to stamping out office politics and waving goodbye to the dreaded commute. To many, it’s a dream arrangement—so much so, that 99% of remote workers claim they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.
But something less commonly discussed is how—or if—a remote job will affect your future career prospects. And as it turns out, working remotely comes with plenty of career-building advantages. Stepping out of the four office walls could actually help you to become a better professional and build valuable transferable skills that’ll impress any employer—remote or not. Here’s how.
Working Remotely Proves You’re Self-Motivated
Working remotely almost forces you to supercharge your motivation and drive. You still have deadlines to meet, but you’re suddenly completely in charge of your own schedule. Then there’s the distraction of the TV, your bed, and the fridge to contend with. And, of course, there’s no boss looking over your shoulder. It’s all in your hands now.
But with a healthy dose of willpower (no, there’s no need for your fifth coffee and biscuit break of the day) and some steady habit formation, you’re bound to become more self-motivated and disciplined than ever before.
So how does this boost your future resume? Well, if you manage to hold up a remote role for a long period of time and bag some decent results in the process, your self-motivation (which is otherwise quite hard to prove) is basically undeniable.
And whether you plan on going back to the office or not, employers love self-motivated employees. They do more than what’s expected of them, they work efficiently, and they don’t need endless nagging to get things done. These characteristics go hand-in-hand with consistently met targets, smashed goals, and increased sales and productivity. Yep, that’s right—you’re hired.
Working Remotely Helps Develop Digital Know-How
For better or for worse, technology and digital transformation have changed the ways of business—and the world—forever. And with research stating that at least 80% of managers and professionals require basic digital abilities to succeed in their roles, solidifying your digital skill set is a vital step to future-proofing your career.
Thankfully, by working remotely, this will happen naturally—whether your role is actually tech-related or not. Remote roles rely on technology and you’ll be working with new tools, software, and programs on a daily basis. There’s no IT guy to fix your technology woes, either—so you’ll quickly have to make a troubleshooting mastermind of yourself!
Ultimately, working remotely is bound to help you brush up on your tech and digital know-how, whether that’s navigating the backend of a website, becoming an Excel genius, or simply being able to diagnose computer and Wi-Fi issues like a pro. Trust us, your future boss will thank you for it!
Working Remotely Provides Time to Study or Pursue a Side Hustle
Data has revealed that the average American worker spent 225 hours commuting in 2018. That’s well over nine full calendar days. For you—a remote worker—that’s potentially 225 hours of free time gained. Yep, it’s pretty crazy when you put it into perspective!
You’ll probably want to use some of that time to pack in more sleep, spend more time with your loved ones, and simply live your life. But even if you used half of your new-found freedom to pursue a side hustle or personal project, or perhaps sign up a few vocational courses, you’ll be setting yourself up nicely for your future career.
Why? Well, whether it’s a blog, a side business, or volunteering your skills to local charities, employers love to see interesting projects on a resume. In such a competitive job market, additions like this prove that you go the extra mile, think outside the box, and have the drive to grow, both personally and professionally.
And it goes without saying that picking up extra qualifications and skills in a serious career booster. Employers will admire your sheer dedication to your field; and while practical experience is king, nothing proves a skill on a resume quite like a hard qualification.
Working Remotely Boosts Communication Skills
Changing to a remote-working role can pose a huge challenge for your communication skills. You’re no longer in the same physical space as your boss and colleagues; many of whom you’ll be working on collaborative projects with. It might take some getting used to, but you’ll be strengthening your communication skills every step of the way.
You’ll quickly learn the importance of prompt, clear, and assertive communication, whether that’s by phone, video chat, email, or Slack. In a remote team, things can easily go wrong if communication is lacking, from missed deadlines and unclear expectations to unhappy clients. You have a far bigger risk of being misinterpreted, too. Without body language and tone of voice to rely on anymore, your choice of words suddenly matters more than ever.
Communication skills are vital in any workplace, especially as you work your way up the ladder—and a remote role gives you the chance to refine them from a different angle. Plus, considering communication tops the list of employer’s most sought-after soft skills, having such a well-rounded communication style is a fool-proof way to boost your future career prospects.
Improve Your Resume with Remote Work
The lifestyle advantages of remote work are known to many, but few realize the resume-boosting power it can also bring. Whether you plan to stay location independent for the rest of your working life or want to return to the office someday, the transferable skills you’ll gain from working remotely will put you in good stead for job success.
When it comes to writing your resume, make sure to pack it with examples of times you’ve used your self-motivation, communication skills, and digital know-how to achieve tangible results for your clients or company. If you play your cards right, your remote working experience will give you the edge that employers are looking for!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian, and Fast Company.
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