There is no special superpower you have to be born with to be great at working remotely. Anyone can be amazing at it and get all the benefits that come along. What separates the best remote workers from the rest are their habits. Being mentally strong and managing their emotions and behaviors.
They don’t waste time complaining what’s wrong
Someone forgot to share conversation summary. Some files are not available. Someone didn’t finish a task. There is always something to complain about. Best remote workers don’t waste their time complaining about these things. Instead, they bring a topic up with suggestions how to improve. As a team member, they feel the responsibility to make sure that team improves upon things not working out so well.
They don’t fear change
No process is perfect. No tool can do magic. As teams and companies grow, there is constant need to improve and evolve. Best remote workers acknowledge that and are open to changes. And not only that, they believe in their team ability to adapt.
They don’t fear alone time
People are social by nature. But being able to focus on work on your own is one of the biggest pros of working from anywhere away from the office. No buzz and constant beeping. Over time, being on your own can become overwhelming. Instead of focusing on being alone, best remote workers rely on channels to feel connected to their team.
They are not making same mistakes all the time
Life is about learning. The best remote employees know that and accept responsibility to look in a retrospective on their mistakes and behavior to learn. They also make sure that as a team, they are doing retrospectives and continue learning.
They don’t feel that rest of the team has to treat them special
Working remotely is not some special status that requires different treatment. When you get to the office, you say good morning. You do the same through online tools in a remote team. Best remote workers know that and expect the team to treat them as any other team member, simply you choose the virtual channels.
They don’t need to be pushed or managed
You commit to delivering something and your team trusts you to get it done. At the same time, you get to choose what time in the day or where you do it. Nobody is going to tap on your shoulder to ask if you have completed a task. A great remote employee knows that and they build a habit of getting things done on their own.
They don’t allow themselves to procrastinate
There is always something trying to get your attention. Facebook, TV, people chatting in the cafe. Many of which can be managed easily (put the phone away, close the Facebook window, turn off notifications). The best remote workers acknowledge what they need to get done and what’s the best place for it. And they manage their distractions.
They don’t skip planning and prioritization
The best remote workers live and breathe planning and prioritization with their team. They know the value of agreeing what are the team goals and what needs to be delivered. As this is the only way they can work anytime, anywhere. And still do the right things.
They don’t keep important information to themselves
Some time ago it used to be a trend to keep information to oneself. To feel important when people reach out asking for it. But no more. Remote workers know the importance of sharing all information as it can be the biggest impediment to finishing work. And waiting for someone come online for 5 hours to answer a question means hours lost. So instead of keeping information in their inbox or personal drive, they make sure all information is shared and available.
They don’t blame others
Everyone makes mistakes. When working in a team and something goes wrong, the most important thing isn’t who made the mistake. So instead of blaming someone for a mistake, best remote workers focus on why it happened and how to make sure as a team they never make same mistakes again. Whilst being kind and fair, they are not afraid to speak up when needed either.
They don’t linger on the past
One cannot change the past, but can make a huge difference in the future. There is no point dwelling around ideas “If we had done user testing, a release would have been more successful”. If only… If only I wasn’t focusing on the past all the time… Instead, best remote teams acknowledge what went wrong and what can they learn from the experience. They live in the present and look out for the future.
They are not afraid to ask for help
It is easy to sit on a task for hours and days. Or even worse, pile way too many tasks on your ToDo to the point where the stress levels are at highest and you burn out. Best remote workers know that well and instead of getting stuck for a long time, they ask for help.
They don’t worry about things out of their control
The internet provider is having issues and there’s no connectivity. Computer crashed and there’s no backup. There’s public transportation strike. Anything can go wrong. Instead of complaining about what’s happening, best remote workers focus on what they can control and do. If there’s no connectivity at home – go to a cafe. Or go surfing and finish your work couple hours later. Buy a new computer and be smarter to get backups in the future.
They don’t ignore other people’s results
Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. Best remote workers acknowledge and appreciate when someone is doing a great job on the team. They don’t grow jealous of someone else’s success. Instead, they recognize the hard work done and remember to say simply “thank you” or “well done”.
They don’t give up
No success comes from the first attempt to do anything. One doesn’t become a world famous singer because they stood on stage the first time. And no artist has created their biggest masterpiece as the very first work of art they make. Everything takes time and learning. So does remote working. And the best remote employees know that well. But instead of giving up and getting to the office, they keep learning and getting better.