More than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time in the U.S., according to a survey from hybrid work tech company Owl Labs. That number is estimated to rise to 36.2 million — or 22% of the American workforce — by 2025, according to data from freelancing platform Upwork. To help the workforce prepare for this increase in remote roles, job search platform FlexJobs released a few of the top skills and traits employers will be prioritizing in the recruiting process.
“Working in a remote environment can present unique challenges when compared to an in-person environment,” Keith Spencer, career expert at FlexJobs said in a release. “Which is why remote employers often prioritize certain abilities and traits when hiring for new team members.”
Communication topped FlexJobs’ ranking of most in-demand traits, along with more traditional skills such as critical thinking, decisiveness and discipline. On average, remote employees can be up to 47% more productive, according to Owl Labs. In order to take advantage of that potential uptick, employers will be searching for employees who can take initiative and work efficiently from home.
“Remote teams benefit from structured systems to facilitate collaboration,” Spencer said. “But this means that remote employers need team members who can communicate in a clear and effective manner, particularly in writing. You are often working a bit more independently in a remote environment, so remote employers value those who can think critically on their own and can manage their time effectively.”
Characteristics such as outside interests and a sense of humor also made the platform’s top 10, demonstrating that even in a fully remote setting, companies still value individuals with a healthy and established work-life balance as well as good people skills that allow for virtual team building.
See FlexJobs’ comprehensive list of traits, skills and characteristics that employers will be looking for as they add remote positions: