Are you cut out to work remotely?
(Traits you need to possess to work productively)
To some, working remotely can seem like the holy grail. A job where all you need to do is roll out of bed and you’re ready for work.
Well, hold up.
Though this may seem like a dream come true, not everyone is suited to working remotely. For starters, the opening sentence about rolling out of bed into work is not the sort of attitude you should have (sorry guys).
Though there are numerous benefits like no commute time and getting to work from home (or place of your choosing). This doesn’t mean you won’t have to work hard to do well. You have to be as productive (or more) than you are when working in an office.
There are certain traits you should possess if you want to work remotely. We’ve come up with a checklist of these traits and essentials needed, to help you determine if you could productively and successfully, work remotely.
1. Sufficient equipment
We’ll start with the obvious. You will need easy access to the necessary equipment. The most obvious starting point will simply be a laptop/PC. However, this doesn’t mean that because you have this, you’re automatically set. For certain roles, there may also be a need for specialist equipment or software.
It should be fairly straight forward as to why you need these, as without them, you won’t be able to do your work.
2. Reliable internet connection
Also fairly straight forward, you will need a solid internet connection a decent speed to work remotely. The internet connection will be used for a lot of your day to day work, from research and file storage, to keeping in contact with your team.
3. Your physical presence isn’t required
Again, basic, but necessary to include. In some roles, your physical presence at the workplace is required. For example, for a dentist to do their job they require a sterile environment and specialist equipment. This precludes them from working remotely.
This doesn’t mean all situations where you’re physically needed will stop you from ever being able to work remotely. If for example, you can combine all the times you’re required at the office to be scheduled to a single day, you could work remotely the rest of the time and come in for that one day. This would be something to check with your employer and team first.
4. Minimal distraction environment
Wherever you decide to lay your hat (or laptop in this case), the environment needs to have minimal distractions. This includes family members demanding your time, noisy flatmates making it difficult to concentrate or neighbours disturbing you, asking “for a favour”.
You need an environment where you can concentrate on, with minimum outside distractions. This doesn’t necessarily need to be your home, it could be somewhere like a coworking space. As long as you can concentrate and work productively.
To work remotely you absolutely NEED to be disciplined. By this, we’re talking about you being able to keep yourself on track and fulfil your work obligations. This means not being tempted by distractions such as watching Netflix or completing household chores.
During your workday, the most pressing thing for you to do is complete your work tasks. Because in the end, you are accountable for the work you do (or don’t). If you don’ believe you can avoid the distractions, then remote work might not be for you.
You have to be motivated to work remotely. It’s up to you to get yourself out of bed, prepped and ready for work each day. Though this is the same when working in the office, there is a key difference. Remotely, who will notice if you’re not there?
It is up to you to take care of your work, to be motivated to get yourself sorted every day, to manage your workload and work productively without the need for oversight or external motivation.
You have to have good organisational skills. You are going to have some degree of autonomy and have to manage yourself and your workload. If you finish a piece of work, you’re going to have to take the initiative on what to work on next.
Good organisational skills will mean that you work productively, you take into account obligations to coworkers and the team, so you prioritise what needs to be worked on. Otherwise, you can end up disorganised, jumping between projects, and not completing tasks in a productive or timely manner.
8. Don’t mind working alone
Some find the concept of working remotely can be lonely. No in-built social element to work, simply you and your laptop. [With the most popular remote work location being home], some people can feel isolated, which can lead to lower productivity.
And the likelihood is that the majority of the time, you’ll be on your own. Some people will prefer to work in a more social environment, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
9. Good communicator
Communication is key.
To collaborate effectively with your colleagues, you’ll need to be a good communicator. You’ll likely have access to an arsenal of different tools, generally consisting of email, Instant messenger and video calling.
You’ll use these to keep your coworkers and boss in the loop regarding your work. What you’re working on, what’s been completed, if you’re waiting on someone else to be able to progress with an item of work. This all helps to ensure that projects run smoothly and demonstrates that you’re being productive.
If you can check all these boxes, you are the ideal candidate for remote work.
Feel there’s something missing? Let us know in the comments.
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