Will I Make a Good Remote Worker?
These 3 skills will make or break your success as a location-independent professional
Location independence, schedule flexibility, workforce equality… it’s no wonder that remote work has gained enough popularity to become the business world’s most in-demand employment benefit. Everyone craves the freedom of a work-from-anywhere profession, but for every untethered success story, you may also hear a companion warning of, “Remote work isn’t for everyone.” Which is true. Leaving an office environment requires a much higher level of autonomy that doesn’t always match the working style of many modern professionals.
But is it right for you? For the most part, remote work is just like any type of work – you’ll need creativity, dedication, and grit in order to climb to the top of whichever industry you’re in. So, if you’re only interested in remote work because you think it’s an easier or more convenient way to earn an income, then the answer is no. However, in a few ways, remote work requires some unique skills. So, if you have (or are willing to develop) these skills, then you can rise to the top of your career much faster than you otherwise could.
To determine whether or not you have these remote-specific traits that are essential for being successful remotely, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Are my written messages clear?
In a virtual world, you are what you type. Of course you can supplement interactions with video calls, photos, and screencasts, but the majority of your communication will inevitably be in emails, files, and community channels. Therefore, the only opportunities that others have to evaluate your professional value is in the messages they get from you. This means that as a freelancer or entrepreneur, you need to be able to communicate the quality of your product and brand using nothing but some marketing content and your contract. As an employee, the way to be a dependable and innovative team player is to consistently report on output and be responsive and thorough with project information. If others are easily able to understand the logistical, emotional, and informational goals of each of your messages, you’ll be able to effectively communicate exactly what you need and how to get there.
2) Am I dependable?
Just ask any remote work expert or executive, the key to virtual success is trust. Without the ability to watch our clients, vendors, or coworkers work, we have to just believe that their updates and reports mean that they are being productive, and that they will create the results that we are relying on them to produce. And the same is true for you. If you can commit to being responsive, accountable, and consistent, you’ll be able to build the strong virtual network that will help your career thrive.
3) Am I a self-starter?
Location independence includes a lot of, well, independence. For better or worse, the autonomy of remote work requires workers to be self-sufficient in many ways that they aren’t used to, including problem solving, idea generation, time management, task prioritization, and output evaluation. If you prefer to let others give you instructions, encouragement, or feedback, a remote work model may not be for you.
Still feeling hesitant? Want to learn more about how to be a successful remote worker? In his presentation at Nomad City 2018, Iwo Szapar, Founder of Remote-How, will be discussing the keys to remote professional independence in depth. Join us on October 8-14 to learn it all, plus more, in the beautiful city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.