In this fast-paced world, remote work is indispensable to remain competitive. The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how we work and live, transforming traditional office environments into virtual workspaces.
As the work landscape continues to shift, businesses need to be able to assess an employee’s remote work skills in a virtual workspace accurately. If done right, assessment can ensure hiring and training practices are effective.
Before the pandemic, few people were employed remotely. But now, research shows that 70% of full-time workers do so.
However, embracing remote is no mean feat. The lack of direct supervision and constant communication can lead to missed deadlines, misaligned priorities, and reduced productivity.
The skills you bring to your remote work game are critical to building a successful business. These abilities serve as the backbone to support you while you work remotely.
Identifying these specific skills in potential candidates is crucial for recruiters and hiring managers.
This article digs deeper into the different strategies you can use to assess work-from-home skills. It also provides practical tips on how to effectively evaluate job applicants so you can find the right candidate for your remote team.
Table of contents
- What is a work-from-home skills assessment?
- Why are work-from-home skills important?
- What skills and traits are important for work-from-home employees?
- Skills and traits tests for remote workers
- ✅ TestGorilla can help you find the right work-from-home employee
What is a work-from-home skills assessment?
A work-from-home skills assessment determines if job candidates possess the necessary competence to thrive in a remote work environment. Applicants should have great communication, adaptability, self-discipline, and software skills.
Assessing these abilities can be challenging, but ensuring that your organization recruits the right talent to drive success in the virtual realm is important.
Factors such as industry, job title, level of experience, and preferred work style are essential in identifying suitable candidates for remote roles. For instance, the skills required of a remote software engineer will differ from those of a remote marketing specialist.
This guide provides solutions, answers, and best practices for assessing these key work-from-home skills.
Why are work-from-home skills important?
Below are some of the reasons why work-from-home skills are essential:
When we work from home, comfort and convenience create a more relaxed work environment. A relaxed environment lessens stress, consequently boosting focus and productivity. It improves your mental state and may maximize your output. In fact, 27% of employers have reported increased output from their remote employees.
Despite an environment more prone to distractions, the right work-from-home skills can help limit those interruptions and create a highly productive atmosphere.
Many employees report improved happiness when they can work remotely. And remote workers are 22% happier than those who work on-site.
Remote working can offer many happiness-boosting benefits, such as a better work-life balance and reduced stress levels.
It also gets rid of the need for long, uncomfortable commutes. Employees may instead choose to use this additional time to unwind and prepare for the day. Better still, it lets employees do activities that they enjoy.
More flexible working hours
Having skills that enable employees to work from home gives them greater control over their working hours, livelihood, and how they manage life. Flexibility empowers employees to structure their day how they wish. This can lead to more engaged employees who are less likely to burn out.
Working from home allows staff to save on commuting costs and enables businesses to save on office space expenses. Arming your employees with work-from-home skills can help you save on office space and eliminate the need for commuting costs.
The most significant blow your company can take is losing your best employees. Strong work-from-home skills can help you keep those valuable team members longer.
Keeping your team engaged and productive while they work remotely can reduce employee turnover and improve job satisfaction.
Remote working skills can also improve communication, collaboration, and teamwork. Practical skills ensure effective collaboration between team members working from home in different physical workspaces.
Having work-from-home skills can also give employees a better work-life balance, because they can establish regular working hours that accommodate their lifestyles. This way, they can prioritize tasks and focus on what matters more for their career without feeling overwhelmed by obligations outside of work.
Improved health and wellbeing
Cultivating essential remote working skills can foster better health and overall wellbeing. Employees can create a flexible work environment to manage their time and schedule breaks better. This can improve concentration, productivity, and ultimately, job satisfaction.
It also lets them do regular physical activities, which is a fun way to boost morale at work. It reduces stress levels by creating a healthier, happier atmosphere. As we know, a healthy employee is a happy, productive employee.
What skills and traits are important for work-from-home employees?
There are several key skills and traits that every remote employee must have. When your work-from home staff have these skills, it’s easier to grow your business.
Below are some of the essential qualities and abilities that make a successful work-from-home employee:
For a good work-from-home experience, an employee must possess strong critical thinking abilities and be able to find creative ways of solving a problem. They should have an analytical mindset, be able to tackle issues independently, and develop innovative solutions when faced with challenges.
This requires the ability to research, analyze information, and make accurate decisions. Employers should assess how well the employee can articulate their thought processes and how well they can practically apply their knowledge.
Working independently and self-managing is critical for anybody working from home. A successful employee must be able to take the initiative and not require too much guidance or direction from their manager or colleagues.
Strong motivation and an ability to be trusted with the timely completion of tasks are essential qualities in any individual being considered for a role. When remote employees are self-starters, it eases the burden on management to take charge. It also makes it easier to consistently meet and exceed client expectations.
Communication barriers could be costing businesses over $37 billion every year. Also, many employees believe that communication is one of the critical elements of successful task completion. It’s clear that communication is one skill we can’t overlook.
The fact is that proficient communication is indispensable in the workplace.
Employees must be skilled in getting their thoughts across using verbal and written methods. They should also be able to collaborate with their team effectively online.
Non-verbal communication should also be considered. A great deal of communication is non-verbal, which means that even when employees work remotely, they should be able to convey the right message.
Excellent time management skills are essential for any employee working from home, especially in today’s world where many people are juggling different tasks. An effective remote employee should be able to prioritize, set realistic goals, and manage their time efficiently.
Time management increases productivity and helps employees stay organized and focused. Employers can test this skill by setting task deadlines and seeing how an employee handles them.
Another key trait of an effective remote worker is emotional intelligence. This includes being able to handle stress and strong emotions, as well as having the ability to influence people and build relationships with colleagues in a remote setting.
Emotional intelligence can help employees build strong connections with their team, stay focused on their goals, and manage their tasks efficiently. It drives motivation and encourages collaboration.
Remote employees should be able to show empathy and compassion when dealing with colleagues and customers. All customer service interactions should prioritize understanding the customer’s needs and providing solutions accordingly. They should understand how their work impacts other teams, ensuring their actions contribute to company-wide success.
One skill you can’t ignore for work-from-home employees is adaptability. Remote workers should be able to manage their own time, juggle multiple tasks and remain clear headed under pressure.
When candidates are adaptable, it becomes easier to create a cohesive culture among your remote or hybrid employees.
Effective remote workers can self-motivate and maintain focus. By possessing such independence and discipline, remote workers remain productive without a manager or a hovering boss.
They should understand how to prioritize tasks and set realistic goals for themselves. Self-motivation lets individuals monitor their progress and take responsibility for their assignments. Self-motivated employees are also more likely to stay with the company longer than those that lack motivation.
Remote workers should have a good understanding of the technology needed to complete tasks efficiently from home. This includes experience with video conferencing, collaboration tools, file-sharing platforms, and other office software. They should also understand the importance of proper data security protocols when working from home.
Good remote workers must be able to master new technologies quickly, as the digital landscape is constantly changing and evolving.
Skills and traits tests for remote workers
It’s relatively simple to test work-from-home skills. Below are some of the best work-from-home skills and traits tests in our test library that you can use to help you hire the right candidate.
1. Reading Comprehension test
This test is best for establishing how candidates understand written content and instructions.
Remote workers need to comprehend the content they are interacting with. This can be anything from emails to text messages to customer service dialogue. The Reading Comprehension test is an excellent assessment of this skill.
This test measures a work-from-home candidate’s ability to analyze and interpret written information quickly and accurately. It evaluates the candidate’s understanding of the text’s factual, symbolic, and technical content. This can be useful for assessing virtual employees in customer-facing roles, or any other position requiring a high reading comprehension level.
2. Customer Service test
This test is best for determining how candidates deal with customers.
For many customers, good service is crucial for determining whether they choose to do business with you. Working well with customers from remote locations is essential for building solid relationships and providing an excellent customer experience.
Our Customer Service test measures candidates’ ability to handle common customer service scenarios by rating their responses on various criteria. This includes politeness, knowledge of company policies, and problem-solving skills.
This test helps employers evaluate their remote workers’ ability to provide the best customer service possible. It can also be used to identify potential areas of improvement and ensure customer satisfaction.
3. Leadership & People Management test
This test is best for establishing how candidates lead and manage people.
If your remote employee must lead and manage people, our Leadership & People Management test is crucial for hiring a suitable candidate.
Unfortunately, finding a natural leader can be tricky. Luckily, this leadership test assesses critical skills, such as how candidates delegate tasks, support others, and provide timely guidance.
With this test it is easy to narrow the list of candidates down to only the top performers. Even if you have a remote team, you can quickly identify managers and team leaders to grow your business.
4. Microsoft Excel (General) test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ Microsoft Excel skills.
You can’t have an effective work-from-home environment without a mastery of Microsoft Excel. This powerful spreadsheet software is used in various fields, from budgeting to data analysis.
The Microsoft Excel General test measures an employee’s ability to use this software for multiple purposes. This assessment tests the user’s understanding of essential Microsoft Excel functions and operations and their knowledge of formulas, charts, and other features.
It also tests the user’s ability to properly format, structure, and organize data in a spreadsheet. The results provide valuable insight into how well employees can use Microsoft Excel to accomplish tasks efficiently.
If you want to know how employees are doing with Microsoft Excel skills, this test is a great way to assess them quickly.
5. Google Docs test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ Google Docs skills.
Remote working wouldn’t be complete without Google Docs. This online word processor and document hosting platform is a great way to edit documents collaboratively and track real-time progress.
The Google Docs test measures an employee’s understanding of this software and their ability to use it for various purposes. It tests candidates’’ ability to create and edit documents, work with images and tables, and format text.
The results of this test can give you a good idea of how well employees use Google Docs in their daily work.
This assessment also evaluates the user’s knowledge of document security measures and how to properly collaborate with other users. It’s a great way to ensure your team understands the latest features and best practices when using Google Docs.
6. English (proficient/C2) test
This test is best for establishing how fluent candidates are in English.
Creating international teams is a great way to bring together diverse talents from all over the world. But it’s essential that everyone can communicate effectively.
That’s why it’s important to use the English (proficient/C2) test, which measures a user’s ability to speak and write in English at the CEFR level C2. This assessment tests the user’s grammar, comprehension, and written expression proficiency.
The test measures the user’s ability to understand complex texts and tasks, as well as their ability to express themselves clearly in writing. It also evaluates the user’s understanding of idiomatic expressions, collocation, and comprehension of complex topics.
This English proficiency test is a great way to assess remote skills. It helps you determine if the candidate can express themselves clearly and effectively in English. It can help gauge proficiency, ensuring they’re up to the task for growing your international business.
7. Salesforce CRM test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ Salesforce CRM software skills.
Creating a sales team that works remotely requires a unique set of skills, including the ability to make calls, close deals and have the ability to use sales enablement technology like Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
The Salesforce CRM test evaluates candidates for their working knowledge of the program, including creating and customizing reports, leads, and opportunities management, understanding customer profiles, tracking key metrics, and more.
This test helps employers quickly identify the applicant’s level of knowledge and whether or not they’ll be able to hit the ground running.
8. Social Media Community Management test
This test is best for establishing how candidates manage social media communities.
Today, most of the world’s population is active on social media. That’s why having a remote social media management team with the correct skills is essential.
The Social Media Community Management test evaluates candidates in the critical areas of community management, including strategic planning, content creation, customer service, and analytics.
By measuring their understanding of social media best practices like brand awareness campaigns and content curation, this test helps employers determine if a candidate has what it takes to succeed in a remote social media management position.
9. Critical Thinking test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ critical thinking skills.
In a remote team, having employees who can think critically is crucial. The Critical Thinking test is the perfect way to evaluate the problem-solving abilities of remote workers.
A critical thinking test evaluates a candidate’s ability to make decisions, analyze data, and think critically about their work. It can gauge a person’s decision-making ability without relying on others’ input.
This test allows managers to identify employees who can take the initiative and think independently. It also helps identify potential training opportunities or areas where a person may need guidance or additional support to improve their performance.
10. Problem Solving test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ problem-solving skills.
Your remote workforce will face numerous challenges, so problem-solving skills are invaluable. You can assess these skills with a Problem Solving test. This test evaluates the candidate’s ability to identify and resolve problems in various scenarios.
It looks at candidates’ ability to identify the root cause of an issue and implement efficient and effective solutions. It also helps determine if a person can work through challenging situations and think outside the box.
Assessing problem-solving abilities ensures remote teams have the tools to navigate complex tasks and find creative solutions.
11. Business Ethics & Compliance test
This test is best for establishing candidates’ business ethics and compliance with company policies.
Just because your work-from-home employee won’t be in the office, doesn’t mean they won’t face ethical business dilemmas. Not dealing correctly with these ethical dilemmas can lead to a loss of profits, or even damage to the brand.
The Business Ethics & Compliance test is excellent at testing a candidate’s ethical compass. When candidates perform well on this test, you can rest assured that they’ll uphold the company’s policies and ethics.
Candidates that perform well on this test have a solid understanding of how their behavior and role impacts internal and external relationships.
We can help you find the right work-from-home employee
We understand that assessing a worker’s skills when working remotely can be tricky. You don’t see their performance in person, making you think you don’t know what you’re looking for, right?
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sign up for your free account today and see how our tests and assessments can quickly identify the best work-from-home employee for your job.
Whether it’s a customer service representative, an editor, or a developer, these tests can help you determine the skills your employees need to succeed. Take the guesswork out of finding great, productive remote workers!