Remote work readiness can help you tell if you’re really ready to transition to remote work. You may be excited about remote work but are you truly ready to make this all-important transition?
Reports indicate that 67% of companies that have adopted remote work policies expect work from home to be either permanent or long-term.
Similarly, FlexJobs lists 27 companies making the switch to long-term remote work such as:
- Adobe (Up to October 2, 2020)
- Aetna (Up till start of 2021)
- Amazon (Up to January 8, 2021)
- Ancestry.Com (Through December 31, 2020)
- Capital One (Till the end of 2020)
- Coinbase (Indefinitely)
- Facebook (Until July 2021)
- Gartner (Through January 1, 2021)
- Infosys (Permanently for 30-35% of staff)
- Lambda School (Permanently)
- Mastercard (Until COVID-19 fears subside)
- Microsoft (Through January 19, 2021)
- Nationwide Insurance (Indefinitely for the majority of staff)
- Nielsen (For the foreseeable future)
- PayPal (Until October 2020)
- Raytheon BBN Technologies (Throughout 2020)
- Salesforce (Up till August 2021)
- Shopify (Indefinitely)
- Siemens (Permanently for 2-3 days a week)
- Slack (Indefinitely for most staff)
- Smartsheet (Through October 9, 2020)
- Square (Permanently)
- The Hartford (Through 2020)
- Twitter (Indefinitely)
- Upwork (Permanently)
- Zillow (Permanently)
- Zipwhip (Through July 2021)
Perhaps like these companies, your employer has also dangled the remote work carrot in front of your eyes and you’re now weighing your options, but have you considered your remote work readiness?
In this post, I’ll be x-raying remote work plus highlighting 6 simple ways to assess your remote work readiness as an employee, but first
What is Remote Work Readiness?
Remote work readiness can be described as the level of preparedness of an organization and its employees to go fully or partially remote.
Employee remote work readiness, on the other hand, is the level of preparedness of an employee to go fully or partly remotely. It can help an employer determine if a particular employee will survive to work remotely. More importantly, it can help employees determine if they can or should go remote.
Remote Work Readiness Assessment
A comprehensive remote work readiness assessment is administered by employers to determine staff remote work readiness, but employees can and should also take one for themselves.
A robust remote work readiness assessment should cover the following fundamental areas:
- Personality traits and work ethics
- Work from home environment
- Familiarity with work from home software/tools
These will provide you with sufficient insight to assess your remote work readiness plus inform your remote work decision.
Use the following remote work readiness checklist to create your personalized remote work readiness assessment.
Things to Include in Your Remote Work Readiness Checklist
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #1: Personality Traits
Certain personality traits can help you excel at remote work. Seasoned freelancers possess them which is why they’ve been successfully freelancing for years.
For instance, most freelancers consider themselves introverts and are able to spend considerable time alone by themselves working, with little or no external communication, supervisors, or micromanagers.
Can you honestly spend your 9 to 5 all by yourself in your home office punching away at your keyboard, answering calls, responding to emails, etc?
How much of a self-starter or problem solver are you? Can you take initiative and resolve issues without much help or prompting?
Are you self-disciplined, like really self-disciplined, like can you forego your TV or your favorite Season Movie streaming on Netflix? If you can’t then you’re probably not so ready for remote work.
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #2: Space for Set-Up
You’ll need a dedicated space to set up your new home office, preferably one with less noise and distractions. You can convert one of your rooms, your patio, porch, balcony; any space that can house your essential office gears.
It is important however to select a space that is free of distraction so you can do your best work, especially if you live in a family house or share a space with roommates.
Do you have any such dedicated spaces where you can set up your essential office gears, that is free of distraction, noise, and access to intruders or unauthorized persons? This is even more important if you handle classified information in your line of work.
Work from home is a subset of remote work. The former refers to work done specifically from home, while the latter refers to work that can be done from anywhere other than a traditional office.
This means you can still work remotely out of a co-working space, cafe, Starbucks, the park, etc, provided you have internet access and some level of privacy.
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #3:Home Office Gear
To successfully work remotely, you’ll need certain essential work from home office gears. This will enable you to do your best work while working from home. It is important for distributed teams to be on the same page otherwise general output will suffer.
Do you have a desk, ergonomic chair, working PC, mouse, speakers, headphones, uninterrupted internet access, air-conditioning (or cross ventilation), sufficient lighting, etc?
Do you have all the necessary tools and equipment to host or fully participate in a Zoom meeting when the need arises? These are some key things to consider when assessing your remote work readiness.
Depending on your job role and functions, you may need some or all of these office gears plus more. You should aim for the same or similar office gear you use in your office. This way you can maintain your usual efficiency and productivity levels even though you’re working from home.
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #4: Familiarity with Softwares/Remote Work Tools
Remote work relies heavily on technology for best results. Companies like Automattic have been 100% remote from inception. More companies are also considering and adopting different remote work models going forward.
To succeed at remote work, you’ll need certain software and tools to facilitate your work. Again, this will depend on your job role or functions. At the basic, you will require word processing software, secure internet browsers, collaboration tools, etc.
Most employers will require employees to use certain employee monitoring software to ensure that employees are actually at their desks and working at their jobs. Most of this software is in the cloud, others may need to be installed locally.
Being a fast learner can be a great asset here. It will help you to quickly learn and adapt to different new remote work management software hitting the market.
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #5: Work-Life Balance
If bringing work home creeps you out, perhaps you should opt to continue working from the office instead. With work from home, not only are you bringing work home, you’re actually bringing the entire office home.
NordVPN recently concluded a study and found that on average, American workers are working an extra 3 hours since the lockdowns began. This can be attributed to several factors.
However, it is essential that you’re able to establish work-life balance, in order to succeed at working remotely. It may be a bad idea to work from home if you’re a workaholic.
Most people struggle with establishing clear boundaries for life and work. You should take this into account while considering working from home, otherwise, you may be working round the clock, non-stop.
Remote Work Readiness Checklist #6: Read and Understand Your Company’s Remote Work Policy
Without a definite corporate remote work policy, you might be biting off more than you can chew, and may never know what exactly to expect at every point in time in your remote work journey.
A robust remote work policy will lay out a company’s complete approach and response to remote work. It should address issues like working hours, communication, collaboration, virtual meetings, reports, etc.
If your employer has provided a remote work policy, it’s a sign that they’re serious about remote work. You should take out time to read through every item and understand it before committing to it.
Most employers are offering a blended or hybrid model that allows employees to cycle between working from the office and working from home. This in my opinion is perhaps the best way to gauge your remote work readiness.