Are You Cut Out for Virtual Work?

In Hiring Web Workers: Is Personality as Important as Skills?, Jessica noted that personality often plays an even bigger role in virtual work success than hard skills. Do you have what it takes to be a virtual worker?
Here are some questions you should consider before jumping out of your cubicle and into a remote work situation.

  1. When it comes to being flexible, I’m…
    • a. Much more comfortable with structure.
    • b. Incredibly adaptable.
  2. When I’m given an assignment, I…
    • a. Tend to procrastinate but work really well under pressure.
    • b. Am very good at prioritizing so I’m never working down to the wire.
  3. Often the best part of work is…
    • a. Interacting with my colleagues.
    • b. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I get things done.
  4. My favorite type of work involves…
    • a. Gathering in a room with my co-workers and carrying out face-to-face brainstorming sessions.
    • b. Taking disparate pieces of information and assets and piecing them together to make a logical whole.
  5. I get frustrated when…
    • a. I can’t get hold of someone to get answers when I need information to complete a project.
    • b. I’m forced to be in one place for too long.
  6. I thrive when…
    • a. I have a set schedule that I can rely on.
    • b. My work is varied and dynamic.
  7. My ideal work environment is…
    • a. A traditional workspace with a desk, filing cabinets, and all the equipment I need at my fingertips.
    • b. Mobile, portable and lightweight.
  8. I find email to be…
    • a. A necessary evil, but I’m dismayed that it is replacing in-person or phone conversations.
    • b. Essential, but I’m also open to exploring other ways of communicating online.
  9. My love of technology is…
    • a. Average. I see how it can be helpful, but I have my favorite tools and am cautious about upgrading.
    • b. Avid. I am always interested in trying out a better tech tool and can pick up new software pretty quickly.
  10. I’m most comfortable in an organization that is…
    • a. Clearly structured. I need to know who I report to and what my assignment is at all times to remain focused and productive.
    • b. Dynamic. I can adapt to a more structured organization but am also at home in a more loosely structured one.
  11. If I were to work from home, I’d…
    • a. Be easily distracted.
    • b. Carve out a suitable workspace, or find a better location outside of my home.
  12. The alternative workspace options in my community are…
    • a. Few to nil. And I couldn’t really be productive working out of my local coffee shop.
    • b. Varied, including some coworking spaces.

How do you think you fared? If you chose mostly “b” as your answers, you probably have the right temperament to transition to remote work. If you answered mostly “a,” you may be better off sticking to a more structured, traditional work environment to be successful in your job.
Not everyone is cut out to work remotely. If you’re not sure that remote work is for you, you could give it a try for discrete projects and see how comfortable you are with being apart from your team and working on your own over time. In an ever-changing work landscape, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be the best thing you ever do for your career.
Image courtesy stock.xchng user qute