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Soft Skills for the Hybrid Age

The world is advancing, and the workforce is going hybrid. Do you have the skills needed to keep up?

The COVID-pandemic and rapid digitalisation have flipped the way we work on its head. There’s no longer choosing between in-person or remote work. Companies have embraced the best of both worlds to create a commonplace hybrid model.

This hybrid model has received great feedback. A Statista study reported that 83% of companies deemed collaboration on new projects good or better than it was prior to the pandemic. Workers are also able to save money on commuting, have higher flexibility when taking meetings or completing tasks, and truly embrace a healthier work life balance.

So what soft skills do employees need these days to succeed in this hybrid age?

Remote Work Skills

To succeed in hybrid work, employees should have a strong grasp of their remote work skills. Hybrid work requires a rhythm that allows for one to go back and forth between work styles with ease.

Knowing how to share and upload files that can be accessed in multiple places, how to manage video conferencing rooms, and how to use company software and platforms from afar are all essential for the new world.

Collaboration and Project Management

Two soft skills that go hand in hand are collaboration and project management.

It’s clear that working with others on large projects is best done in a face-to-face setting. However, collaboration can still be done efficiently remotely. The key for success is asking the right questions like:

  • What virtual tools do we need to communicate with one another (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet)?
  • What tasks must be completed in person at the office and what can be done virtually?
  • If I’m good at a certain type of work, or have a certain skill needed to complete the project, what parts can my colleagues do?

Asking the right questions allows virtual teams to craft a plan that works to their strengths and parameters.

Project management now comes into play. After a plan is set, the project framework can be broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. A good team determines the proper division of components, timelines for completion, and accountability for the project.

Employees at tech companies may have double the workload during busy seasons, such as the launch of a new digital product. During that time, a team may be handling multiple projects at a time.

Rather than feeling daunted by the tasks at hand, good hybrid workers will tackle the work head-on and formulate a strong plan of attack. They will prioritise what’s important, determine the budget and resources needed, block out time to complete the critical tasks, set-up online meetings with colleagues to advance the work, and ensure the projects come into fruition.

Presentation Skills

Presenting virtually has a few drawbacks from a traditional presentation. In a face-to-face setting, your audience is able to see your body, facial expressions, and the presentation simultaneously. Having the combination of body language, voice, and gestures makes it easier to understand the message you’re conveying.

However, in a virtual setting, we are limited to just shoulders and face. Virtual meeting attendees often need to choose between focusing on the presentation and viewing the presenter. Combine the setbacks with technical difficulties or poor internet connection, and you face a real challenge with captivating your audience.

It all comes down to your presentation skills. Good hybrid workers ensure their presentation has a clear story and voice, along with engaging visuals that are easy to read and properly capture the message they want to share with their listeners.

Good presenters are also augmenting their presentations with supplementary activities such as polls and games, to entice enthusiasm and participation. Cultivating an interactive atmosphere can make the difference between a boring meeting and an effective presentation!

Accountability

Not being in the office every day means you won’t have your boss constantly supervising your work. The sole responsibility for the day’s work is on you.

Strong hybrid workers have the integrity and discipline to achieve results from wherever they are. They create a space free from distraction, manage their time effectively, and work to get their tasks done. Such accountability helps keep the hybrid model running smoothly.

Focus on Deliverables

Having your work done remotely can be a good thing! It’s a great remedy for micromanagement and allows for trust to be established in the employee-employer dynamic.

To continue maintaining this relationship and having a sense of freedom at work, a company needs to focus on concrete deliverables and timelines. As long as the deliverable is created on time and in good quality, it doesn’t matter when and where the employee has created it.

Mastering Soft Skills

To truly get a grasp of important soft skills, actual experiences are required. People learn by handling real life scenarios. CTIA, working with partners around the world, places a heavy emphasis on training students on soft skills, in addition to technical skills.

Programs are run in a hybrid setting, allowing candidates to immerse themselves in an environment that demonstrates communication, collaboration, project management, accountability, and a focus on deliverables through session learning objectives and hands-on homework.

As we move forward in this hybrid era, we need to make sure our soft skills evolve to accommodate the future of work.

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