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Publication Title | Remote Working is the Future of Work

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Results ~ Competencies
The focus of this research were the competencies necessary for success as a remote worker. The following competency sub-headings represent, in descending order, the level of importance given to each from the perspective of the remote worker. Based on responses to a Likert Scale, the number listed beside each represents the percentage of respondents that reported the competency as being critical to success. In the interviews, respondents noted competencies that both led to their success and those they knew needed to be developed in order to grow in their future success.
Communication (100%)
In every conversation over the course of the research and the additional comments added to the survey responses, respondents stated that excellent communication skills are vital and non-negotiable for success as a remote worker...particularly written communication. They went on to explain that communication is vital because of the importance of accuracy and eliminating ambiguity in shared messaging. The remote workers explained how miscommunication is common due to such things as language differences, idioms, or lack of non-verbal ques. Research results revealed that excellence in communication also encompassed channels use. One interviewee provided the following example. The language of ‘texting’ is not adequate when the work context calls for reading emotional cues, or providing a ‘paper’ trail (documentation) outlining decisions, agreements, complaints, discussions, proposals, conflict resolutions, or reports. Another respondent reported that depending on the current location of a remote worker, he or she might not be able to rely on technology that supports visual, virtual meetings. In addition to the ability to articulate verbally, many virtual meetings call for a written follow up summary to be provided to all involved to ensure agreement of what discussion content, and action steps determined.
Other respondents spoke to the fact that excellent communication takes time, something that many claim is limited. They reported that it also takes patience, reflection, reviewing, reworking, rephrasing, and great intentionality to communicate clearly. Another aspect of communication discussed was having the ability to determine the appropriate communication channels and technology to use in order to communicate effectively. One respondent stated, “Because nonverbal communication is limited in virtual conversations, we have to work extra hard to articulate and confirm messages.”
Self-directed/motivated (74%)
Second on the list of importance was the ability to self-direct and self-motivate. This entailed taking responsibility for personal decisions and effectively organizing activities based on intrinsic motivation without pressure from others. Without being self-directed, remote workers stated they might not have what it takes to organize multiple contracts in order to achieve the deliverables identified.
Trustworthy (72%)
Being trustworthy was stated as critical by 72% of the respondents. Respondents reported that if someone is not a trustworthy person, it might be a struggle to make progress in his or her career. Discussions reflected on the thought that some people need the accountability of others to continue making progress. The weather, the surf, depression, excitement are some of the distractions that can cause misplaced priorities when an individual has already committed to an important deliverable. By consistently following through with what has been committed, an individual is demonstrating trustworthiness. For people who view commitment as restrictive, it does not mean they are not a trustworthy person, but it does mean that it will be difficult to demonstrate it through actions.
Discipline (58%)
Discipline is showing a controlled form of behavior or way of working. In the study, 58% of respondents agreed that discipline is the long commitment in the same direction, doing something because it is the right thing to do, not because it felt like it.
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