What You Need to Become a Great Telecommuting Employee

By Chelsea Babin

Do you have what it takes to succeed in your current job while telecommuting? Whether you’re working for a company that offers a telecommuting option or you’re looking for a new job where you can telecommute or partially telecommute, you should assess your personal traits and working style to see if you could succeed as a telecommuter. To become a great telecommuting employee, you need these 7 things.

1. Self-driven Work Ethic: With no one around to hold your hand or look over your shoulder, a self-driven work ethic is essential for success as a telecommuter. You’ll need to be able to motivate yourself, keep yourself productive, and hold yourself accountable for completing every task that needs to be done each day.

2. Time Management Skills: Speaking of completing every task that needs to be done each day, you can’t do that successfully as a telecommuting employee unless you have great time management skills. Sometimes, when you work from home, it may be tempting to add personal chores or let your hobbies distract you but these can be bigger time sucks than you think and can kill your work productivity. Make sure your time management skills are well honed before you dive into the world of telecommuting.

3. Excellent Written and Verbal Communication: When you telecommute, you will most likely still need to interact with coworkers, clients, customers, or your boss on a regular basis. In order to do this successfully once the face-to-face option is taken away, you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

4. A Distraction-Free Environment: If you don’t have a distraction-free work environment available to you at home, this could get in the way of your success as a telecommuter. Set up a dedicated home work space or several stations you can move to throughout the day while you are working if you need slight changes of scenery.

5. Stellar Internet Connection: Telecommuting often relies heavily on stable, stellar home Internet connection. If you’re moving into the world of telecommuting you may need to upgrade or switch your internet service to make sure it’s reliable, fast, and easy to use while you work.

6. A Solid Grasp on What’s Expected of You: Whether you’re new at your job or your role is changing, you may not have a solid grasp of what’s expected of you. Unfortunately, that can really get in your way if you’re a telecommuter. Make sure you have a frank conversation with your boss, coworkers, clients, and customers about their expectations of you before you start telecommuting so you can make sure you’re getting everything done and not letting something unwittingly slip through the cracks.

7. Self-Awareness: One of the key elements of every successful telecommuting employee is a keen sense of self-awareness. If you know you need regular social interaction throughout the day, working from home may not be your best option. If you know your workload is heavily collaborative and it’s hard to get your coworkers on the phone, on video chat, or get in touch with them through email working from home might not be your best option. Your sense of self-awareness will help you determine whether or not telecommuting is a good option for you.

Telecommuting can be a great boost to your work-life balance! If you want to become a great telecommuting employee, make sure you have those 7 traits, environmental requirements, and work habits.