Smart Working is a new phrase that is popping up more lately as a buzzword used to basically say, “Work how you need to, and when you need to”.
With the sudden spike of Remote Work taking over the globe, this phrase is used more and more to describe people working in times when they’re less overwhelmed by their physical surroundings, and allowing them the ability to approach their work with their own methods to get it done.
This can cause issues for some workers who may not like such a flexible structure, or who have too many distractions in their work space to be the most productive with their time.
Let’s face it – remote work isn’t for everyone.
There are some people that really enjoy commuting to an office space, whether it gives them some free time to read on the train without a child tugging at their sleeves, or the camaraderie they can share with coworkers who aren’t family at the water cooler. Their arrival to the work building actually allows them to frame their mind on the tasks at hand, and walk away at the end of the day, without taking work home.
This separation of home and work is a great fit for people that need to ‘compartmentalize’ their lives.
With that being said, there are others who really thrive in the Remote Work environment.
Whether they feel more comfortable or just more in control of their day, remote working can really bring out the best in some workers. However, there is something about these workers that drives them to succeed in this environment.
Here are Top 5 Traits Necessary for Remote Workers to be Successful!
#5) Curiosity. Starting at the bottom, the fifth trait that successful remote workers have is one of curiosity. No, this doesn’t mean they spend all day being nosey about tabloid gossip and plot lines on streaming dramas!
There is something about being inquisitive that really drives people forward.
In a remote work environment, they may feel more relaxed about spending hours on an issue, digging deeper and deeper into the weeds. Being inquisitive means they’re comfortable taking some of that responsibility, and not just waiting around for someone to tell them where to click and what to do.
This, in turn, can also serve these workers well in climbing to other higher paying positions, as they’re seeking to learn as much as possible.
#4) Discipline. Number four on the list is discipline, and this shouldn’t be a surprise. Not just at work, this trait is what makes most top notch professionals the best at what they do.
You’re not born knowing everything, but staying focused on your goals, and working hard can make you extremely successful, whether it’s becoming a professional athlete, a Ph.D candidate, or climbing the corporate ladder.
Understanding you have to “pay your dues”, and keep your head down, even when you may be a little bored, or the work isn’t really fulfilling at the time, can set you apart. They do what is expected of them (and more), and can do so on their own terms, without someone akin to a school teacher standing there with a wagging finger.
#3) Trustworthiness. The third best trait for successful remote workers would be trustworthiness. This covers a broad spectrum – you have to be able to trust yourself and your coworkers in order for remote work to….well, work.
If you find that your coworker isn’t responding to your pleas for assistance over the group chat, and they don’t have anything marked on their calendar, and it happens consistently or for long periods of time, it becomes really difficult to believe in that person to have your back when it matters.
Unfortunately, the employees who don’t have this trait as a high ranking personal value can take advantage of being unsupervised, and really ruin things for the whole group.
For them, as long as they click around a few times a day, or schedule some emails while they’re out doing other things, no one will know the difference, right? Wrong. Sooner or later, people will pick up on this, and it’s a must have, no matter where you are located.
#2) Self Motivated. Number two on the list blends in with a few of the aforementioned, and self motivated individuals do well in almost any environment, but especially ones that give them autonomy.
They believe enough in what they’re doing and either find pleasure and enjoy it, or understand it will help them reach a future goal. The only time this becomes a negative trait is if they are using it without the trust mentioned above, and instead only doing what will benefit them, and neither the company or their team members.
This can be a rogue sales representative making deals on the side, or someone taking the best projects or assignments without being a team player and rotating the good parts around for others to grow, as well. Basically, self motivated individuals are great for remote work, as long as they work well with others.
#1) Communication. The top trait that makes remote workers successful is the ability to communicate well. There is a fine line between requesting to be in the loop and micromanaging, but workers who can communicate well often give managers everything they need without the hovering.
Letting people know your schedule, the progress you’re making on assignments, and responding in a timely manner are all really important keys to making this happen.
If you struggle with communicating efficiently, strive to make improvements or schedule calendar reminders to help you stay on top of things. You aren’t a lost cause if this is not one of your strongest skill sets. Gather feedback on what you could do better, and make a change today!
Chances are, few remote workers will have all of these skills perfectly honed.
Especially considering how quickly many workers had to pivot, make sure you work with your employees and provide resources and training materials to help them focus on where they need a little more work. With a little time, you’ll have teams of rockstar Remote Workers ready to take on whatever challenges you can throw at them!
© The Remote Work Index