“I love working remotely,” says Pat, a writer for a large tech company, “but anyone who thinks it’s an easy ride has it all wrong. Take last Friday afternoon, for example, when my boss pinged me about preparing a big presentation that he needed for Monday morning. The presentation was the first of its kind, so it was all new ground. It had a unique format that needed the right type of visuals to match various themes covered in the presentation. I had to readjust my ongoing work activities, which also had drop-dead dates, but I had to get this presentation ready as a top-priority deliverable. It was an exercise in time management and I had to compress times on other items to get all of them delivered on schedule. But I’m not complaining, and I don’t mind when my work means I have to give up my weekend. I love what I do and I’m proud of what I create and I’m really lucky that I get to do it all as a remote employee.”
Some people, like Pat, have the personality to work remotely. These remote personalities are hard-charging go-getters with a self-motivated mindset. They’re fine working with fewer rules and more all-nighters. And they’re not fazed by the isolation, diminished emotional and administrative support, or the reduced collaboration and recognition of remote work.
When these remote personalities work remotely, they’re very happy; 43% of them say they love their job. By contrast, when remote personalities have to go work inside an office, their happiness drops precipitously; only 24% of them love their job!
This data comes from the 8,117 people that have taken the free online test “Is Your Personality Suited To Working Remotely Or In The Office?” Respondents answer 10 questions and receive results indicating whether their personality is better suited to working remotely or working in an office.
How can you tell if you have the personality to work remotely? After analyzing these thousands of responses, we discovered two signs that someone is likely suited to work remotely.
Sign #1: You’re Ambitious
One of the questions on the online test asks respondents to choose between two statements…
- Being “average” in my work is a truly terrible thought for me.
- I like to be good at my work but I don’t need to be the absolute “best.”
The data shows that people who like working remotely are more likely to strive to be the best, and obviously, those who can’t stand to be average are going to rate as having more ambition than those who don’t need to be the best. We discovered that remote workers (telecommuting and mobile workers) are about 10% more likely to display high ambition than those in traditional work-sites. (At first blush, 10% may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually a huge difference and highly statistically significant).
If you’re not sure how ambitious you are, think about time you were given an assignment and you lacked the necessary skills or knowledge to complete the job. What did you do? Here’s an example of what an ambitious response sounds like: “First, I got a clear explanation of what the end product was to look like. Next, I developed a plan for what needed to be done and by when. Then I utilized the Internet and I sought out people who were experts as resources to help me better understand what I needed to know and where to go to learn it. I really get excited when I have to learn something new, so I just dive in and get started. Lastly, I touched based with my manager to make sure we were both on the same page for the assignment as I continued to learn.”
Sign #2: You’re Ferocious With Deadlines
We also discovered significant differences between remote workers and in-office workers in how they treat deadlines. We asked respondents to choose between two statements…
- I hit deadlines no matter what, even if that means pulling all-nighters.
- I sometimes need to ask for a little more time to finish projects on deadline.
We discovered that remote workers (telecommuting and mobile workers) are about 15% more likely to hit deadlines no matter what, and pull all-nighters, than their office-based peers.
The data shows that remote workers (both telecommuting and mobile workers) are more likely to love their jobs than people in the office. The data also suggests that to love working remotely you’ve got to have a hard-charging, go-getter, self-motivated mindset.
Working remotely isn’t always easy; there’s isolation, a fear of missing out, miscommunication and more. In order to overcome those pitfalls, a successful remote worker has to be driven and hard working. There’s often less support (emotional, administrative, managerial, etc.) for telecommuting and mobile workers. So, the only way for them to survive and still achieve their desired career success is to push themselves to be the best and be willing to work all night to hit every deadline.
Working remotely is not for everyone, nor is it for every company. To assess your own fit, I’d encourage you to take the online test.
Guest post by Mark Murphy, New York Times Bestselling Author, Forbes Contributor and Founder of Leadership IQ.
With a reputation for brilliant, yet immediately actionable, insights about leadership, he’s trained leaders at the United Nations, Harvard Business School, the Clinton Foundation, Microsoft, MasterCard, SHRM, and hundreds more organizations.