The Four Most Important Work at Home Skills
By Christy Schutz
I recently saw an article on Huffington Post by Grant Cardone warning of the “Work-From-Home Comfort Zone”. According to Cardone, the accessibility telecommuters have to too many comforts in their home office environments can be dangerous and negatively affect their “quality of life, marriage, kids… not to mention the overall success of your business.”
I think there is some truth in Cardone’s assessments. Someone who does not approach their telecommuting role with some discipline and structure may succumb to the many distractions our home environments can offer (especially since we are not under the watchful eye of our managers and colleagues). So, I got to thinking, is there a specific personality type that is more successful working from home?
Some argue the benefits of introvert vs. extrovert; rational, analytical thinker vs. free-thinking creative emotional types, and the list goes on. I happen to know a broad spectrum of people with a host of different personality types that are making the remote workplace scenario work out just fine. Rather than personality types, I think it has more to do with specific skills or work styles successful telecommuters choose to adopt. In my experience, there are four skills that have to exist or be cultivated.
Firstly, I think successful work at home women create and follow a schedule. I think this is key for both work productivity AND life balance. People who are inclined to get distracted by television or a nap need a schedule so they can stay on task with their work. Likewise, remote workers who are inclined to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week need a schedule for disconnecting from work and focusing on their personal lives. Remote workers who develop and stick to a schedule tend to be productive and able to achieve a healthier work/life balance.
Secondly, work at home women are good communicators. Introverted or extroverted, successful remote employees know that staying connected to their colleagues and/or customers is key to their success in a work-from-home role. If working for another organization, colleagues and managers need to be aware of the remote employee’s contributions. And whether an employee or entrepreneur, the connection they forge with their customers is critical to their success, regardless of the industry.
Thirdly, successful work at home women are able to take initiative to get things done. They do not need a lot of detailed instructions to complete a task, but rather, can be resourceful self-starters who are able to jump into an undertaking and get the job done. People who develop this ability to “figure it out” and learn along the way, even if it is beyond their usual comfort zone, will be more apt to successfully transition to a telecommuting role.
Lastly, work at home women have to practice self-motivation or self-encouragement. Praise for their work performance may be harder to come by at times, so it is important that they be able to derive personal satisfaction from their accomplishments vs. public acknowledgement for a job well done.
What skills would you add to the list? What behaviors have you observed in other successful work at home women? Do you think there is a specific personality type that fits into this mold, or a set of skills anyone can cultivate?
Christy Schutz, is a communications professional and freelance writer focused on topics like employer/personal branding, career management, personal development, women in the workplace, and female entrepreneurs. She enjoys putting 16+ years of experience in the advertising, recruitment marketing, employee/internal communications and special events industries to good use by helping others to discover, develop and market their own distinct calling or mission. This Tampa Bay, FL-based Mom also keeps herself busy by raising 4 kids, caring for her husband, and doting on her dogs Petey and Daisy!