COVID-19 shut downs are over and the professional world is wrestling with the idea of returning to the office, whether full-time or in a new "hybrid" workplace model. Despite some CEOs desire to get people back to their desks, many professionals say they would rather find a new, remote job than go back to their current employer's office.
But what entails a strong remote employee — and how do employers scout them out in the job application process? Knowing that answer can be the key to landing a role that fits into the life you want.
Thankfully, we have one executive's opinion. Amy Waters, CEO of online store The Hamper Emporium, which has "a mix of in-house employees and remote employees," recently offered insights into what qualities she looks for when considering a candidate for a remote role — and the quality she avoids.
1. The ability to prioritize.
"The knack to prioritize work is a skill I look for in a remote employee," Waters shared.
Not only should you be sharing that you know how to work efficiently and effectively, you should also demonstrate you know how to make strong decisions on what's most important and what needs to be done first.
"Remote workers enjoy a lot of autonomy because of the nature of the setup," Water said. "In my experience, individuals who don't know how to prioritize work end up being less efficient."
2. Past experience working remotely.
"Employees with previous remote working experience always get a minor boost," Water said.
Even if you've never worked a full-time remote role, mentioning any experience you have managing projects outside of an office (or even outside of nine-to-five), can be beneficial to your application.
"I would recommend job hunters add at least a freelance remote experience," Waters said. "This will give them a slight edge above the rest in case there's a tie."
Red flag: People-pleasing tendencies.
When it comes to a quality that makes Waters turn away from a candidate, she warns that being too flexible can be a bad thing.
"It is vital for remote employees to communicate things as it is," she said. "Sugarcoating or partial hiding of problems can cause long term issues. It is hard to intuitively spot issues for managers in a remote setting. Poor communication leads to problems being solved too late, which can have disastrous consequences."