With more workers entering the remote workforce, it’s important to expand our ideas of how to demonstrate work ethic. Whether in a physical or digital workspace, the seven foundational workplace skills apply. Let’s consider some of the ways employees can demonstrate these skills while working remotely.

  1. Attitude: While remote workers may have fewer opportunities to demonstrate positivity through a smile, handshake, or rapport-building with colleagues, there are still several opportunities to embrace a positive attitude remotely. Use positive language in written communication, remembering to be encouraging, optimistic, and solution-oriented. Take time to send messages to colleagues to acknowledge their contributions. On a video or phone call, show that you are engaged and enthusiastic about your work in the conversation.
  2. Attendance: When working remotely, managing expectations about your availability is crucial. If your company has standard working hours, be sure to be readily accessible during those times, and clearly indicate when you will be taking breaks. Additionally, show up for virtual meetings or conference calls promptly and prepared to work.
  3. Appearance: If you engage with your colleagues via video chat, commit yourself to looking professional. Maintain the same clothing and grooming practices you would adopt in a traditional work environment. Additionally, consider the appearance of your environment— choose a location where you have a neutral background free of clutter or distractions.
  4. Ambition: Much like in a traditional workplace, a remote employee can demonstrate ambition by completing projects in a timely manner, actively seeking additional work or feedback, and taking initiative to go above and beyond their job description. In a remote workplace, an employee may have to more actively seek opportunities to show their ambition.
  5. Acceptance: Accepting and respecting company rules and policies is vital. Ensure that you understand your company’s remote work policies, and adhere to them.
  6. Appreciation: Find ways to show appreciation and gratitude to your colleagues and customers. Acknowledging good work, kindness, or opportunities that they’ve provided shows that your commitment to your work is authentic. You can show appreciation in a digital workplace through email, phone calls, or even hand-written notes sent in the mail.
  7. Accountability: Companies need to trust that their remote workers will conduct themselves with integrity. Working without direct oversight is a unique opportunity and requires a great deal of trust between employer and employee. Demonstrate accountability by maintaining open and honest communication with your employers and coworkers, holding yourself to high standards for performance, and admitting when you’ve made a mistake.

Work ethic matters, whether you’re working in person or at your kitchen table!

The Center for Work Ethic Development has identified the seven most essential workplace skills that help people reach their highest potential in their careers. These foundational skills include attitude, attendance, appearance, ambition, acceptance, appreciation, and accountability. To learn more about The Center for Work Ethic Development’s seven essential workplace skills and how to implement our curriculum in your workplace, visit workethic.org.