Working from home has grown in popularity thanks to its many benefits. However, it’s simply not for everyone. People need certain traits to make the task possible. If these traits are missing or minute, working from home will fall through. Be honest with yourself and discover if you have these traits before make the transition to a work-from-home position.
Self-Motivation and Discipline
This point seems to be a no-brainer, but people are often surprised by the intense level of discipline necessary for working from home. The ability to ignore everything related to home life and focus on work takes practice. Even the most dedicated employee could get distracted by home life, thinking that doing a quick chore won’t be so bad. However, employers expect a certain amount of work, and distractions add up to less-than-great work quality.
Varying Communication Skills
You must know how to communicate via the verbal and written word. These separate forms of communication require two different skill sets, so make sure those are in place before working remotely. Additionally, make sure communication is consistent. Since the boss can’t look over your shoulder, you’ll want to keep him or her in the loop regarding your work. While you know you’re completing projects, your boss might not, which leads to a nervous boss who might start doubting your abilities.
Attentive and Responsive
This trait goes along with great communication skills. Make sure to answer the clients or the boss periodically throughout the day. They want to know that you are there, you are paying attention, and you are making them a priority. Many remote employees have specific times set aside throughout the day to answer emails and return phone calls, which helps clients or bosses know what to expect. Be virtually present to build confidence in your work relationship with clients and bosses.
This trait is the most important when working from home, especially as technology is the main method for work transmission. Being able to work a computer is the beginning, but learn how to run different programs. Know where to find help with learning new programs quickly. If the boss suddenly wants to switch to a new platform, know how to quickly learn that platform. Knowing how to figure out fax machines, printers, new programs, and how to get help when you don’t know, will keep you ahead of others in your field.