Though working from home has many positive attributes, it requires a particular type of personality and skills to make it successful.
Working from home isn’t for everyone. If you can’t get enough of workplace drama, office politics, or water cooler gossip, for instance, working from home could leave you feeling unfulfilled and out of the loop.
But, we know that certain personality types do better when given the structure of an on-site 9 to 5 job, whereas others thrive in a home office environment.
If you are considering this style of work, however, you also have to take into account something more important than just the benefits it provides, which is the personality traits.
Here are some important skills needed to successfully work from home.
To make it as a home-based worker, you need to be able to work independently with very few directions.
As a home-based employee, you won’t have the luxury of co-workers sitting next to you, so many times you may need to figure out issues by yourself.
If you are the type of person, who prefers more guidance, working at home may not be an ideal situation for you.
Remember that when working from home, you don’t have anyone else to pass the responsibility to in case you encounter an issue. You are ultimately responsible. So, you will have to figure things out on your own. That includes the times when technology won’t work as it should.
If you are naturally resourceful, you know how to research and think critically in order to arrive at a reasonable solution. If you lack this ability, however, learning some simple problem-solving techniques can help you improve productivity.
2. Self Motivated
One of the advantages of working from home is the ability to create your ideal schedule. But if you are not motivated you may find yourself sleeping in too many days in a row and not getting work done.
Working from home requires that you are able to work independently, and because you won’t have a boss looking over your shoulder, you need to make sure that you can stay on task.
If you have a natural sense of self-motivation or an entrepreneurial spirit, you probably won’t have any trouble thriving. If motivation doesn’t come naturally, take a few steps to stay productive at home. Try sticking to a schedule, keeping work and home spaces separate, and letting yourself take periodic breaks.
3. Computer Savvy
Since the majority of your work will be done on your computer, you will need to be computer savvy.
You will need to know everything from learning how to use different software, to updating programs and keeping your computer running smoothly.
A broken down computer or internet connection equals no work getting done, so you will need to be able to navigate your way through tech issues and concerns.
But when you work with others, solving a tough problem can be as easy as stopping by your colleague’s cubicle. At home, you will be responsible for resolving both big and small issues.
4. Good Communication Skills
There is a big misconception that working remotely is more suitable for someone who is more of an introvert than an extrovert. The truth, however, is both personality types can successfully do it provided they feel comfortable communicating with others, whether it is via phone, email or video conference.
Part of working at home means communicating with others, without relying on the nonverbal cues that typically help guide face-to-face conversations. This can turn out to be trickier than expected, as the discussion can get sidetracked if a single word is misused.
Having strong communication skills will help you express yourself in a clear and concise manner, which doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. for instance, communicating frustration is easy when you are standing next to someone, but expressing it by email can be difficult.
5. Ability To Avoid Distractions
Household chores, pets, TV, and family members are just a few of the distractions you will encounter when you start working from home. Planning ahead will be key, having readily available snacks for consumption, planning children’s activities or having childcare arranged, and having a separate office space can all help minimize distractions as a nursing mother, but ultimately it is up to you to stay focused.
Staying focused is one of the most significant challenges when working from home. What is needed is a work routine that enables you to be efficient and complete your tasks in time to meet deadlines.
It is true anyone can work on sharpening their focus through practice and planning. Still, if you already have a mental habit of avoiding distractions to get work done, you are more likely to be a work-from-home success.
6. Ability To Self-Evaluate
One of the biggest drawbacks to working from home is the lack of external feedback. Unless you work with above-average communicators chances are you don’t get a lot of feedback on your work, positive or negative. For this reason, being able to independently evaluate your work and grade your personal strengths and weaknesses is important.
Do you assume your work is optimal unless told otherwise? Do you rely on feedback and critiques from those around you? Or are you able to look at your work with a critical eye? Are you always looking for ways to be more productive, more efficient, and just generally better at your job?
In order to thrive, working from home workers must have a high degree of confidence in their skills and knowledge. There will be many times when you need to make decisions independently and also accept the consequences of their decisions.
They will also need to feel comfortable giving opinions and feedback without always knowing what those around them are going to say. In an office environment, you will often have a general feel for the moods or views of your colleagues, you may find yourself voicing a unique and sometimes unpopular opinion too.
8. Organized And Balanced
Maintaining balance is one of the most difficult aspects of working from home because the work is always right there staring you in the face. To keep you on track (and not working too much or too little) organization will be key. To help keep you on track, you will need to get very organized, everything from filing systems and daily to-do lists, to keeping track of finances and emails.
Many people prefer to work without constant oversight or regular in-person interactions with coworkers. That doesn’t mean they do their best work when left to their own devices, though. If you find out that frequent distractions in the office cause the quality of your work product to decline, working from home could create the ideal independent environment for you.
If collaboration and feedback drive you to succeed, you will have to set up a virtual system or occasional in-person meetings to get the interaction you need. You may have heard that introverts do best when working from home, while extroverts do best when working in an office.
This isn’t always the case. In fact, an argument can be made for the opposite: Extroverts may be better able to stay visible within an organization when working remotely, while introverts may find themselves getting overlooked when it comes to new opportunities or potential promotions. The key isn’t a personality type; rather, it is the ability to do one’s best work when alone.
10. Decision Making
When you work independently, most of the decision making falls on your shoulders. Whether you are a business owner or a remote employee, you will have to develop confidence in your own expertise.
If you are good at making judgments, then decision making may come easily to you, but be sure to take an extra moment to ensure that the conclusions you have drawn are the most effective ones. If you tend to rely more on your feelings about things, you might prefer to leave issues open-ended for a while. But give yourself a time limit for making decisions in order to provide closure and complete projects.
11. Self Disciplined
Being organized suggests you have a strong sense of self-discipline and no problem following standard rules and procedures. This is an important trait when working independently because although most people can work from home, not everyone has what it takes to do it productively.
With great flexibility, comes great responsibility. Unlike in a traditional office space, there won’t be any colleagues staring every time you look like you are slacking off. This means you will have to find the motivation you need to remove distractions, stay away from temptations and get work done yourself. Having discipline will help you with that.
Whether you have already made the choice to work from home or you are considering a change to your current routine, you should understand the challenges you will face in this environment. Once you know how well your personality meshes with working from home, you can make any necessary changes and adjustments.
Working From Home Comes With Significant Perks
Working from home is an increasingly popular employee perk that comes with significant benefits such as:
-Having a flexible schedule
-Dedicating more time to yourself and your family
-Avoiding a long commute
-Maintaining great a life/work balance
-Not having to dress up
-Being free to set up your office anywhere you want