A Remote Employee: 10 Qualities to Look For

10 qualities to look for in remote employeesIf the usual brick-and-mortar 9-to-5 work setup is now starting to feel suffocating and limiting for your company, then the time for change has come. In the modern world, where technology conquers new heights every day, and people value other things besides work and income, progressive companies take a step into the future by offering remote work opportunities. This promising and popular trend helps to step over the limiting thresholds and leave behind all the obsolete work productivity standards. It’s no longer about working hours (which can be easily faked); it’s about being satisfied with the work you do and having other things in life, too.

Yet when it comes to hiring remote workers, it turns out that pure desire to save time commuting and enjoy the comfort of one’s home is not enough to be a productive team member. In fact, there are personal traits that make remote workers more productive and that you should be looking for in each and every candidate – at least, if you are looking for long-term and productive work relationships.

A must for remote workers: personal qualities and skills

Every candidate that you are considering as an addition to your team should have at least eight out of the ten qualities described below.

Understands what remote work truly is

You don’t need a worker who is simply running from time tracking. People choose to work from home for different reasons, but they should understand and want to deal with all the inherent conditions of such work regime. Ask a candidate why they want to work from home – and you’ll get an idea of such person’s values and desires.

Independent

Remote work has its limitations, and not being able to monitor every step that a worker takes is one of them. People that don’t have the courage to take responsibility and act when no specific instructions are given make the best remote hires. You don’t need someone who freezes every time an instruction is not clear enough.

Values learning

Spending time out of competitive and learning-conducive office environment may affect one’s desire and ability to learn new things and acquire skills. Only a person whose determination comes from within will be able to devote enough time to self-improvement without external stimuli.

Strong and natural communicator

People that freeze before they have to make a business call or spend hours writing an email won’t contribute any value as remote workers. Out-of-office work is built on communication, and without the skills to handle it, a worker will be left out of the loop.

Result-oriented

The working hours requirement often impacts the way of thinking, and eight hours were not based on any real productivity measurements in the first place. A worker starts to replace the real KPI’s with the amount of time they spend in an office. A good remote worker understands that results and outcomes are the real measures of effectiveness. Spending eight hours in front of a computer, at home or work, is hardly proof of the work done.

Action-oriented

When no instructions are given, a productive remote worker starts to look for other places to apply their skills, time and knowledge. Remote work brings difficulties to management, especially in the beginning. And if for some reason you forget to allocate work to your newly hired worker, you’ll be pleased to find out that they have spent this time going over your website content and are now offering areas for improvement.

Trustworthy and reliable

An experienced manager never assigns critical deadlines and always has some time left just in case, but that’s not a reason to hire people that don’t understand the concept of a deadline.

Able to prioritize and manage their own time

Tasks often arrive in batches, and nobody assigns any priorities to them. That’s why it’s important for a remote worker to be able to distinguish high-priority and low-priority tasks, organizing their time accordingly.  

Have interests besides work

If the work environment is the only thing that supplies a person with topics to talk about and people to talk with, such person is highly unlikely to make a good remote worker. Isolated from such nourishing environment, they will quickly lose motivation and the sheer desire to work.

Resourceful and tech-savvy  

Internet connection is everything. In the case of a sudden technical error, a remote worker should be able to fix it fast. All the other interruptions should be dealt with in the most efficient manner that will allow continuing to work as if nothing has happened.

Finding a remote worker might even be more difficult than finding one for the office. However, if you succeed, they are likely to bring more value to your company, while also reducing the overhead expenses, which is a good reason to at least give it a try.

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