Waking up, getting ready for work, commuting, heading into the office for a traditional day of work surrounded by your colleagues. This is reality for many.
Now picture this: waking up, getting ready for work…and walking just a few steps down the hall or downstairs, turning on your computer and starting your work day…from home. This is the reality for remote employees, a growing segment of the work force. According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics, the number of workers telecommuting has increased by 115% in the last 10 years.
There are a number of things to consider when determining if a job would work well staffed by a remote worker. That could be a whole other blog post on its own (stay tuned). But, if you’ve made that decision or you have employees that might benefit from a mix of working in the office and days remotely, there are certain qualities that make for a great remote worker.
Excellent Communication Skills: Look for an effective communicator. Maybe even someone who over-communicates. They need to write and speak clearly and directly. Since they can’t pop their head into someone’s office, they often need to be proactive in picking up the phone and calling a colleague. With all the available technology they also can text, instant message, and participate in video calls. They shouldn’t be afraid of any of these tools and use them to their benefit as they collaborate with colleagues.
Positive Attitude: Of course, you want these qualities in any employee but what sets this apart for remote workers? Someone with a positive attitude seeks out interpersonal relationships, a big plus when the remote employee can’t join their co-workers in the break room.
Self-Motivated, Organized and Able to Prioritize: Just as working in an office has its distractions there are unique challenges for the at-home employee. You need someone with a strong work ethic, who is able to handle multiple projects, and is a good problem solver on top of it. Someone who is self-motivated is able to get up every day, knows what needs to be done, and does it. They are organized and have work prioritized and are focused and productive in spite of any distractions.
Independent and a Team Player: Now this seems like an oxymoron. The qualities listed above are essential to an independent worker. But the employee needs to recognize the goals of the company and team and want to work hard to reach them. Even though they may be physically out of the office, they feel a connection to the company and its mission.
Hiring a remote employee isn’t difficult if you keep in mind these qualities. If you determine that remote employees make sense for your business, then your talent pool has just expanded and you can hire the best people for your team.