The extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic have not only forced businesses to adapt to remote working, but have also meant professionals have needed to rapidly evolve their skill sets.
While these circumstances have without question been challenging, it is wise to assess how this period may have forced you to develop skills in new areas. The skills gained during these trying times, have not only proven to be key, but will continue to serve professionals well in their careers as we move to the new normal.
10 skills you may have developed
1. Effective remote communication
Not surprisingly, the countless Zoom calls and virtual meetings that you will have participated in during the lockdown will have developed your skills in communicating effectively while operating remotely. Not only in managing the technicalities of this crucial technology, but also how you build rapport virtually, including your ability to practice active listening, and engage an audience remotely.
2. Resilience and patience
During any career, there will be times of adversity, increased stress, and uncertainty. However, the global pandemic is likely to have increased workloads, strained resources, and meant rapid changes for teams, which while challenging, will have required professionals to show resilience and patience when working with others under these circumstances.
3. Time management, discipline, and accountability
Whilst there can be a plethora of benefits to working from home, such as negating the need for a commute, it also comes with challenges. The switch to full-time home working while socially isolating was a big change for many, and continues to prove difficult as the time stretches. In this remote set up, building and managing an effective routine, juggling conflicting priorities, staying motivated, and maintaining productivity are key. This requires sharp time management skills, self-discipline, and a high level of accountability.
4. Continuous learning
The importance of upskilling and adopting a continuous learning approach to developing new skills has long been listed as a key skill. However, as the global pandemic has proven true, we are operating in a fast-changing environment and skill sets quickly need to evolve to keep remain competitive.
5. Empathy and respect
As discussed previously, now more than ever employees require an increased level of empathy and respect from their employers. However, professionals at all levels will have been developing their ability to engage empathically and respectfully with others at this time as we are all facing similar and yet unique challenges. Being understanding and respectful of others? feelings, time constraints, and conflicting priorities because of the Covid-19 pandemic will have been so important in maintaining strong relationships and supporting team members remotely.
6. Emotional intelligence
Building on empathy and respect, emotional intelligence, often a skill that is identified as key for leaders, is now a crucial skill for everyone in the current climate. While developing this skill is not as simple as some and will require individuals to further explore their strength in this area, the challenging times we are all facing and the virtual way we are operating will have forced many to be more intuitive and delve deeper when considering how others might be feeling. It has also meant they have needed to be conscious of how they are interacting with people at this time. For example, how they are being perceived virtually, considering the circumstances of others and how the plethora of intertwined challenges such as workloads, personal priorities and relationships with others might affect the way they work together.
In order to keep up and stay relevant in the market, it has been crucial to take the time to identify new opportunities. For example, an intrapreneur will consider ways to help drive business growth, introducing new ideas, offerings and ways of working whilst fulfilling their day-to-day job function. While this period has been challenging for many, those who have maintained a focus on the future and how the business could benefit from these challenges will continue to support growth.
8. Customer centricity
As the customer landscape has evolved, so too have businesses to better meet the needs of their target audiences. Professionals responsible for keeping connected to customers and those organisations that have kept the customer at the heart of their decisions, will be one step ahead of their competition.
9. Tech savviness
The shift to remote working saw IT working endlessly to ensure home setups, processes and systems were functional and employees were able to perform efficiently outside of the office, with very little time to prepare. The new technology, tools and processes put in place forced employees to get up to speed with technologies and programmes they have not previously utilised but that will continue to be key in the world of work moving forward.
10. Adaptability and flexibility
This period of uncertainty has brought countless changes in all aspects of our lives. In the world of work, the ability to adapt to these changes and be flexible in the approach to navigating obstacles was crucial in stabilising businesses was key to preparing teams to operate in a very different market.
Summary of 10 skills during the lockdown period
- Effective remote communication
- Resilience and patience
- Time management, discipline, and accountability
- Continuous learning
- Empathy and respect
- Emotional intelligence
- Customer centricity
- Tech savviness
- Adaptability and flexibility