4 Essential Traits for Great Remote Workers What qualities do the best remote employees have?

By Mike Swigunski

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Are you having a difficult time finding the right remote workers for your business? It can be a little tricky to find the right remote employee that can deliver the work you expect. At the same time, you need a remote worker who is dependable and easy to get in contact with. If you are trying to learn more about the industry of online work and how to connect with great remote workers, there are some things you need to know.

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To help you filter out the good remote workers from the ones that you should pass on, we have come up with 4 essential traits that are only found in the best remote employees. While you are learning how to prepare a great team of effective remote employees, these traits are all character qualities you should be on the lookout for.

1. Self-motivated

An effective remote worker is used to working independently without constant check-ins with their boss. Somebody unable to self-motivate themselves, space out work in order to meet deadlines, and so on, will not thrive as a remote worker. A great remote employee will simply ask for project logistics and deadlines before they are ready to work. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine if someone is self-motivated just by reviewing their resume. This is why you'll need to craft questions in an interview to determine what motivates the applicant and request some examples. This will provide you with valuable insights and determine if they are a good fit.

Self-motivated workers have a natural ability to establish a normal routine that enables them to be productive from home without constant check-ins and emails from their bosses. As the owner of the company hiring remote workers, you don't want to worry about whether or not your employees will turn in work on time. Laziness and procrastination are qualities that simply doesn't stand well for remote workers.

2. Tech-savvy

If you hire the right remote workers, they will be able to easily navigate through common online portals. You cannot thrive for long as a remote worker unless you are tech-savvy. Although you don't need to be a hacker or know all the different coding languages to be a remote worker, you will need to be comfortable with computers and the latest technology.

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This trait is normally pretty easy to find in a remote worker. After all, you will probably connect with them initially on an online job board, which is not the type of platform you will find people with bad technical skills on. However, it's a great filtering tactic to ask for a technical task in an interview. It can be as simple as requesting the applicant to create and send a short introduction video through a platform like Loom.

3. Skilled communicator

Communication can arguably be the most essential trait of remote workers. Remote workers that are bad at communication will really struggle to thrive in a remote environment. This is why you should check for communication skills while interviewing potential remote employees. During an interview, it is normally very easy to tell if somebody will be able to communicate with you at your standards. If you have any doubts, it might be best to utilize one of the many communication aptitude tests.

Skilled communication includes being direct, clear, professional, and asking for help when they are unsure of how to proceed with work. You don't need to give your employees a personal cell phone number for them to communicate with you effectively. Usually, e-mail or an online chat portal such as Slack is an adequate platform for facilitating quality communication. It's essential to be clear from the beginning about what you expect from new hires. For example, all emails need to be answered within 24 hours and Slack messages received during working hours need to be replied within an hour.

4. Collaborative

Being able to work together as a team is something that cannot be taught very easily to a remote worker. They either have this skill or they simply don't. However, as an employer, you can create a good climate for collaboration. The trick here is to make your expectations clear when discussing new projects. You don't want to be too strict, though. Remote workers also enjoy having a little bit of freedom.

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Therefore, try to establish a comfortable common ground where you make work expectations clear while simultaneously allowing your workers to have some freedom to put their own ideas and authenticity to work. The last thing you want to do is assume that your remote team will deliver results without any clear guidance. Instead, make sure to outline some guidelines, but leave some room for improvements.

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Mike Swigunski

Founder of Globalcareer.io, Author of Global Career Book

Mike Swigunski is the founder of the remote job board GlobalCareer.io and author of the best-selling book Global Career: How to Work Anywhere & Travel Forever. Swigunski has worked in and traveled to more than 85 countries over the past decade and loves writing about remote work and entrepreneurship.

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