Ask any hiring manager, and they will surely tell you that hiring an office worker is a much different process than hiring an at-home worker. While both types of job candidates should possess the previous work experiences necessary to perform the duties of the job, telecommuting employees need to have the personality and skill set required to work from home. Here are just a few traits you’ll need in order to work remotely.
Strong communication skills
Let’s say that you’re working on a big project, but you suddenly hit a snafu that halts your work. If you don’t directly communicate with your boss about what’s going on, he’ll have no idea that there’s an issue until the deadline rolls around—and the work is not finished. Working from home means being able to clearly communicate with your boss and coworkers via email, phone, and even through videoconferencing about any and all issues.
The ability to work independently
In many of your previous office jobs, you had managers who regularly swung by your cubicle to chat—and to also find out the update on your assignments. One of the many benefits of working from home is that you won’t have to directly deal with a micromanaging boss breathing down your neck—but it also means that you’ll need to micromanage yourself. So while your comfy couch (or your cozy bed!) might be calling your name, you’ll need to be strict about starting your day on time and getting your work done.
Your tech skills
Your Internet goes out. Your computer crashes, wiping out the last 3 hours of work you just did. You can’t figure out how to connect to the company’s server. A myriad of technical mishaps can (and will) happen when you work from home. Unlike working in an office when you can call your company’s techie guru to help you solve your problems, you are the IT person when you work from home. During a job interview, a hiring manager may ask you how you would handle any of the above issues to make sure that working from home won’t be a problem for you.
Be super organized
Without the occasional office visit from your boss or fellow colleague, it can be easy to let your home office become overrun with coffee cups, candy wrappers, and your kids’ toys. But having a ton of clutter in your office space can seriously impact your productivity, particularly if you’re constantly searching for specific papers. So in order to work from home, you’ll need to be hyper organized. After all, it will help you stay focused, on top of your tasks, and—most importantly—allow you to have more free time to spend with your family.
Having a flexible schedule is something that everyone can benefit from, particularly working parents. Even if some of the above traits don’t come naturally to you, you can always work on them in order to get a flexible job and enjoy the freedom that comes with work-life balance. And if you’re stumped as to where to start your work-from-home job search, check out FlexJobs’ 100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2015! It’s a great way to jump-start your job search, with great companies that are hiring flexible workers!