By Lea Wolfinger, Vice President, Ashton Tweed
The remote workforce is growing and, for many, working from home seems like an attractive opportunity. This option offers great flexibility, no in-office distractions, and zero commute. However, working remotely is not for everyone. Just as people have different learning styles and work styles, there are different environments and structures that are conducive to productivity in employees. Successfully working from home requires some specific qualities and personality traits. See the general characteristics below to check if going remote is right for you:
1. Remote workers must be self-motivated. The ability to manage time and work is a necessity for an employee that works from home. Procrastination can get out of hand without a structured office environment. It’s important to be able to assess your own productivity and be attentive enough to report progress to your supervisors.
2. Just because you work remotely does not mean you are excused from teamwork and collaboration. While this work environment seems ideal for individual work, remote workers must have excellent communication skills, both through email, phone, and even video chats. It’s imperative to stay on top of your communications in order to stay connected and work efficiently with others.
3. On that same note, while working from home you may go an entire day without speaking to anyone. Depending on your role or position, this may be a high possibility. How does that sit with you? For more extroverted or social personalities, this could prove to be a struggle after stretches of time and should be considered when deciding on whether to work remotely.
4. Are you easily distracted? Remote employees must be self-disciplined. You should designate a specific workspace and set specific boundaries for yourself. If you know that your phone, TV, radio, or even the pantry will distract you, do something about it. This also extends to family or friends that may be in the proximity of your workspace – make your work hours known to them.
5. Being proactive is also a huge benefit when working from home. You may have to rely on yourself to solve problems and address situations, which can be difficult when you’re not in the same space as the rest of the team. This rings true on a personal level as well. Working from home can make some feel cooped up. Successful remote employees are proactive and plan reasons to briefly get out of the house, whether it to be to run errands, go to the gym, or grab lunch.
The rapid progress of technology is making remote work and communication increasingly more seamless. However, the human factor will always come into play. Different types of workers prefer different types of work environments. An individual must really know their personality and work style before making a commitment to a remote position.
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