July 22, 2018

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Top Traits of Successful Telecommuters

Working from home might seem glamorous, but it is not for everyone. For those who want to Ďgive it a goí, please take a few minutes to make sure you have the following traits that are necessary to be a successful, productive telecommuter.

  1. Planning & Organization. Being organized is a top trait of successful teleworkers. Nothing eats up time more than hunting down a document or telephone number that should have been filed neatly away in the first place. And nothing is less productive than beginning your day unsure of what you will be doing first, second, third, and so on.

  2. Self-Discipline. Many people believe theyíre self-disciplined. But, itís not always easy. Being self-disciplined means doing what must be done even when you donít feel like doing it.

  3. Professional. Do you start work each day with the attitude of: ďThis is a real jobĒ? Professionalism isnít a behavior; itís a way of thinking. It means you CARE about what youíre doing and how your behavior affects the person youíre doing it for.

  4. Educated. Do you know what youíre doing? Do you have knowledge and/or experience to back up your right to do what you do and expect to get paid for it?

  5. Finds work intrinsically rewarding. Do you take pleasure in your work, and are you driven by just thinking about the good job you do? If you are unable to stay motivated to give your absolute best--just for the sheer thrill of knowing youíre doing a great job--you might have a hard time maintaining a high level of performance when itís just you, yourself, and your computer around to acknowledge it.

  6. Assertiveness. Do you feel guilty if you cut a phone call from a friend or relative short even though youíre very busy? Is it easy for people to get you away from your work? Saying ďNoĒ is a word teleworkers must feel comfortable using if they want people to respect their time. No one cares about your work the way you do; so, you will need to be able to set limits on the amount of time people take you away from your work.

  7. Prioritized. You need to prioritize youíre your daily activities and then perform them in their right order. Why? Because I can assure you that if you donít, you will either leave your office that evening without doing something you should have or, you will end up working late, eating into your personal and family time.

  8. Independent. How many opinions do you need before you make a decision? If you arenít confident enough to think through a problem and make a decision about it on your own, you might be too dependent to work alone from home.

  9. Calm. Do you remain calm even when nothing seems to be going right? Or, do you panic? Panic causes us to misinterpret our problems; in turn, leading us to react in ways that arenít always appropriate. If this is an issue for you, you might have a difficultly performing your work if there are emergencies such as a sudden power outage or your children fighting in the next room.

  10. Desire. Do you want to work from home so much, that you are willing to teach yourself the traits mentioned above?

To be a successful teleworker, you must possess some degree of each one of these traits or you may face regret when you are met with the challenges of working from home. If you are not assertive, the phone calls and interruptions will never cease. If you are not prioritized, you might find yourself sharpening pencils before you call an important prospect. And, if you are not calm, you could fall apart as soon as plans go awry.

So, before you make that leap to ask your boss to let you telecommute, or you quit your day job to become an independent contractor, go over these traits carefully. Otherwise, you might end up having to find a new job.

- Pamela La Gioia

Copyright 2004, Pamela La Gioia

Pamela La Gioia is Founder and Administrator of Telework Recruiting (, a premier job-lead web site that provides thousands of job leads and job resources for the US, Canada, and the UK. She is currently writing a book on telecommuting, which offers step-by-step guidance on finding real home-based employment. Questions or comments are welcome and can be sent to Pamela at

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