Employees who are starting their very first jobs—as remote workers with no direct, on-site supervision.
Managers who are leading teams that include people they’ve never met—and need to support remotely.
Professionals who have survived the transition from office to remote to hybrid—and finally have a stable working arrangement that they can plan their lives around.
These are all work situations that call for a tune-up on our fundamental approach to remote work. And let’s be honest: Many of us are tuning up a system that we built on the fly, improvising as we went along, and without a clear picture of all the habits and tools we needed.
Now that it’s clear remote and hybrid work are here to stay, it’s time to recognize that remote work skills are a core part of our professional toolkit. Knowing how to work remotely is just as fundamental as knowing how to email, or to manage a task list, or to meet a deadline. In fact, they’re very closely related!
Creating the LinkedIn Remote Work Foundations course gave me the opportunity to turn the tune-up into a comprehensive and globally applicable list: to identify the remote-work skills that would be essential to a brand-new finance professional working at a Chilean consulting firm, a mid-level manager for a German insurance firm, a junior customer care agent working remotely in the Philippines, or an American graphic designer looking for gigs as a digital nomad.
Your remote skills checklist
How do you know if you’ve got the remote-work skills you need—or if you’ve provided your team with the support and training to build their skills? This checklist covers the six foundations of remote work, and the statements that let you know how you’re doing in each area. Check off each statement you can say “yes” to, and get a picture of your own remote work skills.
- I know the results I’m responsible for delivering.
- I put most of my attention on the work that matters most.
- I recognize self-renewal as a core part of my work.
- I have set up one or more workspaces in my home that are great for focused work.
- I have set up at least one comfortable spot for quiet calls and video meetings.
- I have mail rules or filters that keep my inbox clear for the most crucial messages.
- I have found at least one working space outside my home that I can use for a change of pace.
- I know my most important priorities for the year, and my workload will let me deliver on them.
- I have a system for tracking my big assignments and all my little tasks.
- I know the times of day when I work my best, and organize my work around that as much as possible.
- I am clear on how and when my team communicates via meeting, email or messaging.
- I have tactics I regularly use to replace unnecessary meetings with other forms of collaboration.
- I know the communications and meeting preferences of my closest colleagues.
- I address email and messaging conflicts quickly with a call or meeting.
- I feel good about my eating, sleep and exercise habits.
- I take regular breaks throughout the workday.
- I have some kind of social interaction every day.
- I have a regular time each day when I turn off email and messaging for the evening.
- My schedule reflects my job’s balance of independent, interdependent and collaborative work.
- I know how often my boss likes to be updated on my work, and in what level of detail.
- My colleagues trust and depend on me for help or expertise in at least one area.
- I maintain a performance file that demonstrates my accomplishments.
Fill the gaps
Now that you have a picture of your remote work skills, you can address any missed items (and shore up any areas where you feel a little shaky).
One way to do that: the Remote Work Foundations course. It’s designed to fill in the gaps between standard employee training, and any support an employee may have received while transitioning to remote work or getting their first remote job. It’s also a great way of fine-tuning your remote-work or hybrid tactics, so that you get the most out of your days at home.
I’m thrilled that the course is getting terrific reviews, and I’m really proud of what we created as a team: Susan Varnum (producer), Josh Figatner (director), Sarah Wells (production technician), and Amanda Ruud (course developer). Even though the LinkedIn studios had re-opened by the time we recorded the course, we agreed that the subject matter made a remote production more appropriate, and the way we worked together online and over video was itself a master class in virtual collaboration–as well as a total delight!
I hope you’ll check out the course yourself, and recommend it to colleagues or HR leaders who want to level up the remote skills on your team. I look forward to hearing how it helps you rock your remote or hybrid career!
This post was originally featured in the Thrive at Work newsletter. Subscribe here to be the first to receive updates and insights on the new workplace.