As remote work continues to grow in popularity across the world, it has been suggested that employees who work remotely are less productive than those who work in the office. This misconception may have originated from an individual who was working from a hammock on a beach and accidentally spilt their drink on their laptop and missed an important deadline. However, it is also likely that a similar incident could have occurred in a more traditional office setting. For example, I have witnessed staff members spilling coffee over sensitive paperwork. Rather than dwelling on human error, it is important to focus on finding and employing qualified people to work remotely.
The key to successfully managing remote workers is not whether to hire them, but rather how to identify the right applicant who can work productively from home and be trusted to adhere to coding standards.
Motivational and Characteristics of Effective Teleworkers
Although many workplace activities can now be completed remotely (including securing stationary cupboards), there are still some tasks that require physical presence. When hiring remote workers, not all candidates may be suitable.
It’s all in how you look at things; the man lounging in a hammock might be just as productive as the one working from home.
Certain types of individuals take to remote work like a fish to water, with regular and frequent communication and high-quality results.
There are many individuals who are consistently late and absent, suggesting that they may not be incapable, but instead struggle to perform when not in a traditional office environment.
For this reason, it’s crucial to choose and recruit a remote worker with a home office who has specific distinguishing characteristics, such as:
The ideal candidate will be driven to continue working even when there is no external pressure to do so. They will have a genuine enthusiasm for their chosen profession and be eager to take on new responsibilities and acquire new skills, demonstrating a real passion for their work.
An effective remote worker should have the capacity to create and stick to routines that enhance their productivity. Having a good sense of organisation can help the remote worker stay focused on the task in hand, whether it be structuring a complex task or keeping track of multiple deadlines.
Successful remote working can be achieved by an employee who is diligent and has a sense of responsibility towards both their work and the company. This is essential, as overseeing employees who work remotely can take longer and require more resources.
A successful telecommuter should demonstrate the ability to work autonomously, not only on tasks assigned to them, but also on those identified through their own initiative and foresight.
Businesses of all sizes, particularly those with a geographically dispersed workforce, are concerned about their employees’ capability to remain focused on their duties. However, among remote professionals, those who can stay concentrated on their work in spite of interruptions have a great potential for successful home-working.
Obeys Rules and Regulations
Employees who opt to work from home value the flexibility it provides them, such as the opportunity to socialize over a morning coffee or play sports with their children in the afternoon. To ensure productivity, remote workers must be disciplined and set aside dedicated work time, avoiding the temptation to multitask.
Focused on Outcomes
The timely completion of tasks is only part of the challenge when working remotely; the quality of the work must also be maintained. Furthermore, a committed professional should always be looking at the positive impact they can have through their efforts, regardless of the location.
Advice on Crafting Effective Interview Questions for Distant Candidates
Previous experiences demonstrate the individual’s capacity for initiative, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, results orientation, priority setting, event planning, project completion, willingness to accept criticism, and communication skills, making them an ideal candidate for remote work.
When conducting interviews for remote positions, it is essential to ask candidates questions which reflect their understanding of the job responsibilities and their capability in terms of knowledge and skills.
Here is an example of a situational question:
- What would you do if you found there was a section of a project you weren’t adept at handling?
- Tell us about a time when you addressed a problem/took the initiative without alerting your manager?
- What would you do if you were stuck on an issue and unable to get in touch with your management or coworkers?
- How would you proceed if you were given a large amount of data or study to analyze but just a short amount of time?
- Describe a situation when you had to decide how to prioritize between urgent and essential projects that both had pressing deadlines.
Here’s an example of a question about logistics:
- Do you have any experience working from afar? Just why would they want to hire you?
- What methods do you typically use to stay in contact with colleagues, manage your assignments, and ensure that you have the most recent versions of your documents?
- When you have several things to accomplish, how do you keep track of them all?
- What’s the deal with your home office?
- Give us a glimpse into a day in your life as a remote worker.
Advice for interviewing and selecting remote workers:
It is important to note that the criteria used to evaluate a remote candidate’s suitability will differ between organisations. Before making any decisions, businesses should assess how well they believe the applicant can fulfil the duties listed in the job description, as this can provide an indication of their capability. Additionally, it is essential to take into account the individual’s character traits, as this can give insight into how they would approach their role and how they could be managed.
It is essential to assess a remote candidate’s capability to think imaginatively in relation to their work, in addition to confirming their ability to carry out their duties. When working remotely, it can be difficult to converse with colleagues about issues and potential resolutions face-to-face.
Potential Employees to Ignore When Filling a Remote Position:
When recruiting for a role that requires flexibility, it is important to consider if a candidate has the necessary skills, as well as the potential to work remotely. It is essential to keep a close eye on the recruitment process, asking clarifying questions which will demonstrate the individual’s ability to work remotely. It is also important to consider instances where this would be relevant.
- Candidates who want clarity would struggle to make decisions when given free rein on an assignment.
- Without constant oversight, those who thrive under close supervision may falter.
- It may be difficult for those who have difficulty engaging in frequent communication to adhere to internal protocols, such as participating in online meetings, submitting daily reports, or tracking job progress.
- If remote employees have successfully embraced the concept of “work anytime, anyplace”, they may struggle to engage in online team collaboration or communicate with colleagues during traditional office hours (9am to 5pm).
Candidate selection is a complex process that requires a combination of science, art, and intuition. It can take time to find the right fit. Works has a team of experienced IT headhunters who are experts in identifying the perfect candidates that meet your exact criteria. Don’t risk employing a substandard candidate – get in touch with us today.