Gone are the days when every single employee of every single company would be required to go into the office every single day. Now, thanks to advances in technology, it’s easy to work remotely without skipping a beat.
Not everyone is cut out for remote work, though — it takes a very particular employee to thrive while working outside the traditional confines of an office. Want to know if you’re up to the task? Read on to find out five of the signs that you’re perfect for a telecommuting role.
1) You’re Focused
This is perhaps the most important quality for a work-from-homer to have: you must be someone who can work despite the fact that life is going on around you. It’s true the same could be said about the office, but, at the same time, everyone at the office is also working. If you’re at home, you have to create a focused environment for yourself to work just as hard.
Employers will likely give the right to work flexibly to those who demonstrate this focus in the office first. So, be sure to impress your boss with how hard you push in the office and prove you’re focused enough to move beyond the cubicle.
2) Your Job Is Tech-Heavy
Not every job is a good fit for working outside of the office. It’s true that more businesses are experimenting with the flexible-location model: Not only is it more cost-effective to have to provide workspaces for fewer people, but it also allows companies to build a wider talent base of freelancers, contractors, etc.
But not every job lends itself to being completed completely online, over the phone, etc. If you use a computer to do the majority of your job, though, you could strike up a work-from-home schedule with your boss, at the very least. A few days a week, you could work virtually, coming into the office only when meetings, presentations, etc., are required.
3) You Need a More Flexible Schedule
Not everything in life fits a nine-to-five schedule. Perhaps the best example of this is working while raising a family: By the time the kids are up, ready and on their way to school, you might be walking into the office much later than the “normal” start time.
A flexible schedule suits working parents and anyone else with a routine schedule of doctor appointments, continuing education classes or any other type of time commitment. It gives you the flexibility you need to get everything done, and get everything done right.
On top of that, a work-from-home scheme can help employees who have been off on maternity or sick leave to ease back into workplace life. Even if it’s not permanent, transitioning from every day at home to three days to one to none can make the process a bit easier for everyone involved. Or, a permanent post-leave work-from-home schedule can make childcare less costly, for example, which will make you a happier, more financially secure employee.
4) Your Commute Is a Killer
Another way to pitch a potential telecommuting situation to your boss is to bring up your extra-long commute. Some cities — Los Angeles, New York, Chicago — have major traffic jams every day, stalling employees from starting their workdays until the late morning. A telecommuting setup can change all that for you, though.
The company will be better for it, too, if you’re able to get in and get to work earlier. It can also help you kick off your workday in a better, less stressed state, since major traffic jams can cause you to feel anxious and unhappy.
5) You’re Flexible, Too
Finally, it’s important to remember that a flexible work schedule requires you to be flexible, too. Once you leave the office, your workday will lose a lot of its built-in structure. For some, this is extremely freeing. For others, this can be a frustration that’s not worth the freedom of a telecommuting position.
So, think long and hard before you apply for a virtual position or pitch the swap to your boss. You might even want to try a part-time telecommuting schedule first to make sure it’ll work for you and for your company. At the end of the day, you’ll know it’s the right fit if you’re more productive and happy — and your boss feels the same way.
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger and writer. She created and maintains her personal finance blog Current on Currency. You can subscribe to her blog newsletter right here for her weekly updates.