How Online College Prepares You for Remote Work
If you’re like many in today’s workforce, you may be thinking about pursuing a career that offers remote work opportunities.
In recent years, remote work has become increasingly common, with more employees seeking out remote jobs. In fact, 40 percent of employers now offer at least some remote work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And Forbes reports that 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time.
While there are many benefits of working from home, professionals must develop new skills and adapt their work habits to be successful in a remote environment. As remote work becomes more prominent, online courses can help prepare adult students like you with the skills and strategies needed to succeed in this new environment. Let’s review some of the skills you’ll learn from an online program that can prepare you for remote work.
Time Management and Setting Routines
One of the first skills you’ll develop in an online college environment is time management. Since there are no set times to be in class or do your homework, you’ll have to set your own schedule to succeed. This includes carving out time to focus on tasks, such as readings, assignments, and discussion forums. Most importantly, you will have to meet deadlines, just like in the workplace.
Your time management skills will directly translate into remote work, giving you the foundation needed to succeed without the structure of a traditional office environment. These practices will help you get a head start on building the discipline and routine required to be successful.
Successful Team Collaboration Through Technology
Like in the remote workplace, you’ll need to use virtual communication technology to be successful at an online college. Online students interact with their faculty and classmates entirely through technology, including emails, discussion forums, and phone and video calls. By becoming immersed in this technology, you’ll adapt to working on team projects with your classmates remotely.
Entering the workforce with these advanced communication skills will help you adapt quickly to working with a remote team. To effectively collaborate, remote workers must be clear and concise when communicating with tools such as email, instant message, and video calls.
We work in a virtual world now. Learning virtual communication is valuable to the workplace. Online learning prepared me to succeed at a workplace where virtual teams are an important aspect.
– Brenda Montagna, M.S. Project Management ‘16
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
As an online college student, it’s important to prioritize work-life balance to ensure that you have time for both your coursework and downtime. In addition to setting aside time for friends and family, it’s equally important to make time for yourself. Whether it’s reading a good book, watching your favorite TV show, or taking a nap, this relaxation helps you recharge.
Similarly, while there are many benefits to working from home, one of the challenges some remote employees face is not knowing when to turn off. When you commute to work, it’s often easier to shut off your work at night and be done for the day. But it’s not always so easy when your office is just a click away.
Creating healthy systems for work-life balance will be key to your success as a remote employee. The habits you learn as an online college student will help you create structured separation between your work and personal time to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Leading the Way in a Remote World
As remote work becomes more common, the skills you learn in an online classroom will not only help you, but your employer too. Your employer may call on your expertise to help implement or improve new remote work systems. By sharing your experience and knowledge, you can become an authority on remote work. Doing this will help you gain the respect of your colleagues and leadership. Some companies are even hiring project managers to serve as heads of remote work experience.
Online classes prepared me to work effectively in a remote world. As I was taking my classes online, I was helping my employer shift to a 100% remote environment.
– Marlene Hammond, M.S. Leadership ‘21
Online Skills for a Remote Future
As the demand for remote work grows, online colleges will continue to adapt, preparing students with 21st-century skills. The valuable skills developed in your online classes will help you succeed with remote work and thrive as a modern professional.