Virtual Workforce Tip #4: Virtual Worker Personalities

Not all personalities are suited to working from remote locations as a virtual worker…

After 10 years of working virtually as well as hiring virtual workers under contract, I’ve learned a few lessons about the importance of having the ‘right’ personality to be a virtual worker. There are people who may have decades of experience as an employee, but those skills and experience falter once they become their own boss. Working in a traditional corporate structure usually stifles the very qualities that make for a brilliant virtual worker: independence, creativity, risk-taking, etc.

When becoming a virtual worker (I’m assuming under contract, as that’s the basis of our company’s virtual workforce philosophy), one becomes a business owner. A virtual worker is responsible for defining & marketing their business, building & maintaining a client base, establishing protocols and procedures to handle what can sometimes be the most obscure client situations, establishing service quality levels, and so much more. Basically, the buck stops with you as the business owner, whether it’s credit or blame.

For potential virtual workers, I recommend a period of thoughtful self-assessment to ensure this career path is the right one.

For companies looking to hire virtual workers, or transition current employees to a virtual workforce, care should be taken to ensure that the personality fits the virtual worker profile.

Personally, I’m always excited to start my work day…even if it just means a quick sixty-second commute down the stairs to my office. I honestly can’t imagine ever stepping back into a traditional corporate structure (with the exception of occasional meetings and consultations); I’m more creative, efficient, empowered and happy than I’ve ever been. And, our clients benefit from having competent, qualified and happy workers handle a variety of business services to help them achieve their business goals.

Qualities I strongly recommend looking for in a virtual worker are:

  • entrepreneurial vs. employee mentality
  • independent
  • team-player
  • proactive
  • disciplined
  • creative
  • responsible
  • reliable
  • professional
  • trustworthy
  • knowledgeable in their field(s)
  • an understanding of the difference between finishing a job and completing a job
  • efficient; and of course,
  • a great personality

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2 Responses to “Virtual Workforce Tip #4: Virtual Worker Personalities”
  1. Great points! Perhaps one thing I could add to this, is some people might not know if they are suited for a career as a virtual worker until they actually take the leap and try it out. Some factors that could impact their success for the transition from the corporate world to a home office could include: an honest self analysis, the right timing – not only in their own life and family, but also in alignment with the economy and work trends, and the willingness to be patient with the learning curve. I think some personalities would do well with a bit of both worlds; part-time working from home and an occasional day in an office setting. Being flexible sure helps too!

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