personality traits of a successful telecommuter

7 Personality Traits of a Successful Telecommuter

Can you work alone without feeling lonely? Are you more efficient and productive when you’re not being micromanaged or distracted by a busy office environment? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have the personality traits of a successful telecommuter and could be an ideal candidate for working remotely!

According to The Hill, nearly 30 percent of all work is still being done remotely. The popularity of remote work has many of us wondering how many people could actually survive in a virtual work environment. So we looked at why some people thrive as telecommuters and others fail.

If you’re considering a remote position, here are the seven personality traits of a successful telecommuter:

1. Self-Motivated

This is the number one personality trait you have to master to be a successful remote worker. Do you always meet or exceed your deadlines or goals? Do you attempt to resolve your own problems yourself before asking for help? Are you a work-horse? If so, you probably have the drive to be a successful telecommuter. When evaluating this trait, be honest with yourself — you know better than anyone else if you can motivate yourself to work. If you can’t, that’s perfectly okay. Stay in an office where you’ll be happier and more successful.

2. Strong Time Management

Being able to manage your own time and keep yourself on track is essential to telecommuter success. Because no one is tracking what time you left for lunch, the number of personal calls you made before 9:00 a.m., or how long you’ve been distracted by social media, you have to be the master of your time domain. It’s all on you. If you have difficulty managing your time in a traditional office, the challenge will only be exaggerated once you’re working from a virtual one.

3. Highly Organized

Organization is fundamental to remote work survival because so much depends on this skill. You have to be able to set up, create, and use a successful online filing system. If you’re organizationally challenged, don’t even try telecommuting. Read a book, take a class, or ask for advice from highly organized coworker first to learn how to improve your organizational skills. When you do, you’ll be much more prepared for a successful remote career.

4. An Extrovert

According to a 2009 article on, research conducted by Cisco and a psychological-research firm Pearn Kandola found that most successful telecommuters are extroverts. This might surprise you, but here’s the reason: extroverts will make human connections no matter how far removed they are from “the action.” Working virtually doesn’t stop an extrovert from forming critical relationships. Many of us who are introverts might dispute this as a needed trait, because we simply don’t need the same level of interaction extroverts need on regular basis. But you know yourself best and can probably get a sense of how well it will work for you and your need to be around others.

5. Pays Attention to Detail

Because a remote worker is often working without the aid of nearby coworkers and without direct supervision, he must be hypersensitive to details. There isn’t anyone to catch that little, or massive error.

6. Independent

Do you feel comforted when you’re surrounded by a team or do you cherish solo projects? When you encounter a problem, do you call for support or do you roll up your sleeves and tackle it head-on? A telecommuter must be fiercely independent and highly confident in her ability to work without the immediate aid of others. If you frequently find yourself relying on the advice of your coworkers, you might not ready to transition to a virtual world.

7. Loves Structure

Do you flourish in a structured environment or does it make you feel suffocated? Does having a routine improve your efficiency or bore you to tears? If you’re working from home, it is vitally important that you have the ability to create and abide by a structured work day. Laundry needs folding, the dog needs to go to the vet, and you haven’t called your mom in ages. There are so many tasks that can distract you from your job. That’s not to say that we don’t all need breaks — we do! And it’s important to take them when you need them. Also, one of the benefits of remote work is being able to take care of life’s responsibilities when we need to. That’s why work-life integration is important. But generally speaking, you must embrace structure to keep your day on track.

Remote Work is a Lifestyle Change

Telecommuting not only requires a significant work realignment, it’s a major lifestyle change. It isn’t for everyone. Before you search out or accept a remote position, ask yourself if you have the personality traits of successful telecommuter. If you haven’t developed one or more of these characteristics you may not be ready to fly solo, but don’t give up hope. Most traits can be learned and mastered. Take the time to develop and strengthen these traits and you’ll own your remote career like a boss.

If you were offered the chance to telecommute, would you do it? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your comments and questions. We’d love to hear from you!

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