Working online is a goal for many of us. Not only does it give you the freedom to choose your work hours you also get to choose your work location. Perfect for the digital nomad dreamers among us.
However, working online comes with its own set of challenges and requirements. Not everyone is cut out for remote work (at least not without a bit of self-work). In this blog post, we will be going through the 8 essential traits for working remotely successfully.
The best thing about these traits is they are all something you can learn. They don’t have to be something you are born with. Find out which of these remote working strengths you already possess and which you will need to spend more time working on.
Once you have some online work skills and the following personality traits you’ll be on your way to leaving cubicle life behind. Get ready to start living life on your terms and become your own lady boss today!
Top 3 Benefits of Working Remotely
Firstly, let’s chat about why you might want to work remotely. Remote work is not a one-size-fits-all approach to working. You may want to work online so that you can travel the world while getting paid.
Maybe you are a military wife and need a job that moves with your family or you’re a stay at home mom looking for something more. Whatever the reason, there are a ton of benefits to working remotely.
Do you value flexibility? This could be the main benefit of switching to online work. You set your own work days and the hours that you work.
2. No commute
When you take into account your commute time, your 9-5 turns into more of a 7-7. When you work from home you’ll eliminate your commute and have more time for what’s important to you.
3. Job satisfaction
90% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their lives. This tells us one thing – people are loving their online lives.
Now, let’s dive into the personality traits that are key to being a remote worker.
8 Essential Traits for Successfully Working Online
The one trait that every successful remote worker needs to have is self-motivation. As someone who works online, you are in control of your work hours.
You won’t have a boss breathing down your neck and there’s no set clock in time.
You’ll also need to avoid temptations like Netflix, distracting family members, and new travel friends inviting you on a pub crawl. Even though you spent the day sightseeing and promised you’d do your work later. So trust us when we say you need to be self-motivated.
The good news is when you love what you are doing motivation should come easy.
However, even the best of us will have days where we are feeling uninspired. If you’re having a low day or week check out these ways to stay focused while working from home.
Before you start working online, ask yourself do you have what it takes to get out of bed, and work independently each day?
Pssst. We know you have it in you!
2. Excellent communication skills
Strong communication skills are essential for working remotely successfully. Different clients will prefer different methods, meaning you’ll need to master email, video, and audio communication.
While working on tasks and projects you need to keep your clients in the loop. Even though you know you’re working on the task, the client can’t see this. From their end, 4 days without hearing from you gets a bit nerve-wracking.
It’s important to set up systems so your clients know what you’re working on and where you’re at. This can be arranged at the beginning of the contract and might entail weekly zoom chats, or possibly just regular emails updating on progress.
Again, every client you work for will be different, so being flexible to their communication needs is key.
Another crucial element to communication is how it’s delivered. As the majority of contact will be through email, you need to make sure everything you say is clear and concise.
Adding time zones to the mix adds another element of fun and responses may take a full business day. You don’t want to be going back and forth just to clarify what you meant.
Working remotely has some great possibilities to be the most productive you. Yet, easy distractions or spending too long in front of your screen can cause a decrease in quality of work and productivity.
Improving your time management skills will make you a much more efficient remote worker. It is also important for developing a healthy work/life balance.
Here are some key tips to help you become better with your time:
- Create a to-do list and only work on the tasks you added. When other items come up throughout the day write them down but don’t get pulled down a tangent.
- Time-blocking. The 2 biggest challenges to being time-effective are procrastination and perfectionism. By scheduling blocks to complete tasks, you have a defined set of time required to work with.
- Start batching. When you swap between tasks it has been proven it takes at least 15 minutes to get refocused on the new task at hand. Batch similar tasks to different parts of your day. For example, create all your client’s graphics on the same morning before doing the copy in the afternoon.
- Work in your most productive times. The best thing about setting your hours is you can work during the time of day when you are most productive. Some of us are naturally night-dwellers while others perform best at the crack of dawn.
We bet you’re starting to sense a theme here. If you think of yourself as a well-organized person then it’s likely remote work is for you.
When you start working online, you will need to juggle various client’s projects and deadlines, personal appointments, family commitments, meetings, to-do lists, and multiple inboxes.
Because of this, it’s necessary to have great organization skills and make use of a calendar system.
Asana and Trello are excellent tools to start organizing all of your projects online and can be modified to a list or board view depending on how you best like to see your tasks.
You’ll be able to see upcoming deadlines and also add team members or clients to your lists. If you want to learn more about these tools we have a module on working with clients projects in our 90 Day VA course.
Girl, do you love trends?
Making sure you are adaptable and able to ebb and flow with current trends is one of the most important traits for a remote worker.
As we all know Google and the social media big guys like to keep us on our toes with changing algorithms. There are constantly new ‘cool’ apps and best digital marketing practices are always changing.
You must be able to stay interested and be adaptable to things changing.
Sign up to newsletters that notify you of algorithm changes and industry-related news so you can be ahead of the trends and not feel the Google Gods are out to get you.
This one might come as a given but you need to know your way around a computer and the internet.
All of the work you will be doing is online so making sure you are fairly tech-savvy is an essential trait to have.
The good thing about computers and the various internet programs is that the more you use them the better you will get.
Our top tip is to look at the programs you will be using frequently as a remote worker and start practicing now. Another awesome way is to do a course, like our 90 Day VA. We’ll hold your hand and lead you through each of the online systems you need to learn.
7. You’re happy not leaving the house
One of the hardest things to get used to about working online is that some days you don’t leave the house. While the appeal of no commute is obviously a HUGE one, in the beginning, spending days inside can be a bit cabin-feverish.
If this is a problem for you try splitting your work hours into morning and afternoon time blocks. You can spend an extended lunch break going for a walk to refresh. Another option is to find a cafe or coworking space to work in each day.
8. Problem solver/critical thinker
One of our favorite things about being a remote worker is that we get to be challenged at work. There’s much less micromanagement and you are left to solve a problem before you can complete a task.
If you think you are a great problem solver then working remotely is in your future.
Oftentimes clients will ask you to do something and you will need to figure out the steps to reach their end goal. For example, they might hire you to increase click-through rates on their Instagram accounts. Can you create a process that achieves this?
You must be independent and able to think critically about a problem. Once you start working remotely you won’t have the luxury of leaning over to ask a colleague how to do something.
Again, when adding in different time zones you need to make sure you understand the project. Get all of the information and required tools in your initial conversations. If in doubt try and figure it out before sending another email.
Is Your Remote Resume Ready to Land a Remote Job?
If you always wanted to work online, but you want to stay an employee, you have some ideas on where to start looking now! Some of these companies have an alternative application process, others ask for your resume.
One important thing to note is that remote companies are often not impressed with a traditional resume. They’re looking for something extra, something special, so you need to stand out in your application! And one aspect of that is your remote resume.
That’s why we’ve created the Remote Resume Blueprint. The Blueprint has everything you need to know on what your remote resume needs, how to write a good cover letter with a template AND contains 5 remote resume templates you can use straight away!
We’re all rooting for you to find the perfect remote job, so go rock it!