The business world has been flipped on its head these past couple of years. We have had to adapt and change the way we work to abide by rules, regulations and precautions. As a result, many companies and clients have noticed a difference in the work being produced. 

Whether you have seen efficiency and quality improve or decline, one thing is for certain – we need to maintain soft skills to retain our ability to carry out certain tasks and roles remotely. 

What do I mean by this? Well, in order to continue business as usual many of us have had to adapt to a new hybrid work environment. While many have excelled and much prefer this approach, some may become complacent and not truly understand how to keep the pace up from home. 

Common issues we run into with remote offices are communication problems, motivation and teamwork. To tackle this and be better equipped to adapt to this new environment and the ever-changing world outside – we need to keep on top of basic things. Then, the organisation and more complicated aspects of work-life will prevail. 

What Are Soft Skills? 

First and foremost, hiring managers tend to look for top talent and individuals that possess a few basic things. While someone could have a diverse CV and be highly technical with job-specific experience and capabilities, it does not mean they have the ability to be successful in the workplace. This is why it is just as important to have these abilities:

  • Be personable
  • Excellent time management
  • Empathy
  • Extensive communication skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Dependability
  • Work ethic

And many more. See, these are all things a person can possess without having any industry experience or major training. You don’t need a niche to be an empathetic person who is conscientious about meeting deadlines. While they are much harder to learn, they can be critical in any work environment as they allow you to work collaboratively.

Why Are They Crucial For Remote Work?

There are plenty of ways managers and business owners can keep employees working at their best and staying motivated. Time and time again we see a common theme crop up in the effort to boost productivity or morale. 

Whether you’re putting money into managerial training or making an effort to introduce regular performance management meetings, what is the key to satisfied and engaged employees? Being able to maintain soft skills!

We don’t work in an enclosed bubble. Employees will still need to interact and to effectively work remotely – a lot of communication is required. This includes being able to understand the needs of colleagues and recognise where changes need to be made throughout the company. Similarly, individuals will need to be able to self-manage a lot more.

This means that organised employees who understand their roles and responsibilities will be better equipped to succeed in a remote work environment. Without the ability to do so and perhaps with a lack of problem-solving skills, time management and dependability – they may struggle to continue at the same rate and quality. 

maintain soft skills

But now we know why this is so important in our new normal, what can we do to ensure we work at this and retain the quality and ability we have in the office?

How To Maintain Soft Skills

I’m sure your employees or colleagues have mentioned the benefits of remote working more than once. Aside from the fact you can wear slippers all day, stress relief and comfort are at the top of the list. 

Despite these perks, there are still some best practises you should follow to keep up professional standards and allow yourself to work in the same way you would otherwise. Having this continuity can help us retain everything from communication to creative thinking. 


In an office environment, it is so easy to pop round the corner or knock on someone’s door to ask a question or set up an impromptu meeting. When you’re miles away from each other that kind of communication can’t happen in the same way. With less contact time, you need to make the extra effort.

In order to improve upon your ability to share ideas and keep lines of communication open across the business – you need to ensure you continue to do so! Simply getting on with things and hoping for the best isn’t going to get you any further. While it may seem like a pain to wait for a virtual response, it will almost certainly end better than completing a task you’re unsure of without guidance. 

In addition to this extra effort to contact people when you need them, making your availability known is crucial. It helps to avoid moments where someone tries to contact you, but can’t and becomes stressed or suspicious. Just as you would at work – let your whole team know if you are unwell, on annual leave or just taking an hour for lunch! This way people can make other arrangements in the meantime or work around it should they need to. 

Moreover, it may sound silly but making your email subject lines clear is a great way to maintain soft skills of communication and empathy. It shows your understanding of everyone else’s busy schedule and allows colleagues to prioritise more easily. On the other hand, if they do the same, you can become more organised too!

Declutter and Limit Distractions

You are inevitably going to come across distractions in your home working environment. Ones that probably don’t exist in the office. This can lead to poor performance and lack of motivation. However, you do have to remember the ones you overcome at work too. 

From the hundreds of questions, chats about your weekend and tea breaks – you overcome these challenges daily yet manage to get right back to work afterwards. Whether it is the pressure from your boss or the general cohesive environment, try to bring this ability home with you. This will help keep you focused on the task at hand, remembering your role within the company.

If you’re still having trouble, take some time to declutter your workspace and ensure everything is set up to limit distractions and offer the best environment to be productive. By doing so, you are also helping to ensure you remain organised throughout the day and do not stray from one task too quickly. 

As a result, your ability to prioritise and manage your time will improve. The area around you can have a huge impact on your quality and quantity of work, so talk to your employer about changes that could be made or reimbursements you may be entitled to. 

Adhere To A Schedule

Time management is crucial in the workplace, but it becomes even more important when you are working remotely. While it may be more of a challenge to stick to a routine when everything you need is within walking distance, it can help keep you on track and work more efficiently. 

Similarly to working in the office, try to create an at-home routine for yourself to stick to. Getting up at the same time every day, taking breaks away from your desk as you would at work and clocking off at the end of your hours are all things that can help. When you begin to stray from this because you’re in a more relaxed environment, it can be hard to return when you need to. 

As well as this, try strategically planning your tasks each day. Make time in the morning to oversee everything that’s outstanding and put in the effort to prioritise each challenge. Rather than chopping between a few – you will be more focused and as a result, create quality results that reflect the effort being put in. 

Adhering to a schedule can give you the ability to surpass deadlines and meet goals. It is understandable that some of us become complacent in a more isolated environment. However, this productivity will help you stand out amongst your peers and prove your ability to work remotely. If you’re looking for more flexibility in this area – perhaps within a hybrid role – you will want to excel. 

Maintain Soft Skills From Home With Azimuth

We should all be sympathetic to the challenges businesses and employees have faced this year. Adapting to remote work, in some sectors, seemed impossible. But with not much say in the matter – it is clear that many have stepped up and risen to the challenge. With this in mind, it is important we do not become complacent now that most have settled into this new approach. 

To keep ourselves in top form, it is important to remember the habits we formed within the workplace and continue to practise these from our home offices. Only by forming continuity and practising routine will we retain those skills that are so important for productive and efficient working. 

Our team helps to develop people and help you face issues at work head-on. If you’re looking for new strategies to implement or different ways to help your employees – we can help give you the knowledge to do so. 

Speak to one of our dedicated Azimuth experts today by contacting us at or call 01483 24 33 81. 

We will be more than happy to discuss how we can help you and with over 20 years of experience across a range of industries, we have the innovative, proven tools that can help you unlock the true potential of yourself – and your business. What are you waiting for?

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