11 Must-Have Skills to Boost Your Chances of Landing a Remote Job

These skills can give you a significant advantage in the remote job market.
Last updated April 7, 2023 | By Will Vitka Edited By Rachel Siegel
Dad working from home with kid on head

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Remote jobs offer something extremely valuable: being able to work from your own home, or anywhere there’s a computer and stable internet. 

They have are other inherent benefits, of course, like saving on gas by skipping the commute. Remote work often pays well, too, so you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.

With those bonuses baked into remote jobs, it’s no wonder they're in such high demand. You’re going to be competing with a lot of others for them, so it’s a good idea to seek out every advantage.

Here are 12 top skills you’ll need to land a work-from-home job.

Meeting mastery

Kateryna/Adobe freelancer communicate by a video conference

Since there’s no ability to walk over to an officemate and chat, remote jobs make use of several key communication methods. 

You’ll need to keep your colleagues in the loop constantly. The three methods you’re most likely to encounter are conference calls, video meetings, and the biggest: writing.

When it comes to conference calls, make sure you’re fully engaged. Listen carefully, don’t get distracted by your environment, and be sure to speak clearly.

For video meetings, take all of the above and add a visual layer. You may not physically be in an office with your colleagues, but you should look like you are. Remember that people can see you.

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Written communication

Sergey Nivens/Adobe creative inspiration

Writing is going to make up the bulk of your remote communication. Think emails and chat messages. 

Strong writing skills are a must. Check your spelling and your grammar. Make sure your tone and word choice fits the message you’re sending.

And for goodness’ sake, don’t blindly reply-all to emails or texts. It is the bane of many inboxes.

Emotional intelligence

Wayhome Studio/Adobe woman with Afro hair smiles sincerely

It can be hard to tell what your colleagues are thinking and feeling when you’re not in an office together. As such, it’s important to develop your emotional intelligence. 

You need to have empathy and awareness when it comes to your coworkers so you know how to interact with them.


AntonioDiaz/Adobe excited woman in an office

While working from home means you won’t have managers looking over your shoulder, it also means you can’t flag supervisors down or head into their office to check in. 

It may take your bosses some time to respond to chat messages or emails. That means you’ll need to be resourceful and solve certain problems on your own.


fizkes/Adobe businesswoman sitting at desk looking at laptop

Working from home has a ton of perks, but it can also be harder to focus on work sheerly because you’re not in an office setting. 

There could be phones ringing, someone in the house walking around, a next-door neighbor causing a ruckus, and so on. 

Minimizing distractions is key. Create a workspace that’s just for you to keep your head down and focus on the job.


Vadim Pastuh/Adobe female freelancer with curly hair sitting at the white table desk

Working from home calls for more self-discipline when it comes to organization. Where staying focused relies partly on your mental ability to knuckle down, organization is more tangible.

Start simply. Clean your desk and keep it clutter free; clear it off at the end of each day so you can start the next day with a clean slate. Create a daily schedule you know you can stick to.

Organization is part of the path to success.


Gorodenkoff/Adobe laptop screen containing a group video call

Connecting with coworkers in a remote environment can present its own unique challenges, but being a team player remains a critical skill. 

Make sure you engage with your coworkers, especially when it comes to group projects. Use the digital tools at your disposal to chat, check in, and be part of virtual meetings.

Time management

andreaobzerova/Adobe using online calendar to schedule patients appointments

Deadlines don’t disappear just because you’re working from home. Managing your time wisely will ensure you get your work done and won’t find yourself scrambling. 

Optimize your workday for productivity without burnout. Starting and ending work at the same times every day is a good place to start.


Jacob Lund/Adobe businesswoman talking on phone and making notes at cafe

Remote work arose in part because businesses and their workforces needed to quickly adapt to the challenges of a virulent pandemic. And that need to remain flexible hasn’t gone away.

There may be some growing pains if your company recently started offering remote work. Or, due to people being in different time zones, it may be tough to schedule meetings. Whatever the issue, be sure you can adapt.


SomYuZu/Adobe big data and analytics visualization

Remote work can’t exist without technology, and more specifically, digital tools. Being familiar with those tools is a must. 

You may know the ins and outs of email, but how familiar are you with chatting or virtual meeting software? Or a process management or content management system? Getting a handle on the programs a company uses will give you a real leg up.


Prostock-studio/Adobe lady dreaming about new job

Some remote jobs allow you to work on your own schedule. As long as you’re hitting your goals, your bosses may not care when you’re working. But you still need to be proactive. 

Remote bosses, as with supervisors in an office, don’t want to feel as though they need to check in constantly to see how you’re progressing. You need to be a self-starter and someone who gets things done.

Bottom line

vitaliymateha/Adobe woman enjoying coffee while working in cafe

The remote workforce continues to grow, and so do its opportunities. But bear in mind that it’s quite different than working at an office.

The more you know about skills that give you an edge in the remote job market, the more successful you can be. These skills might even help turn a side hustle into a job of its own.

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Author Details

Will Vitka Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.