Research, Reliability, and RemoteFIT

I’m not a great remote worker. I find ways to get the job done and be productive, but I’m not naturally cut out for working apart from others. I enjoy collaborating and consulting with others. I enjoy having the opportunity to create and follow my trains of thought. I am, admittedly, easily distracted. I appreciate the benefits of remote work – no commute, flexibility, unlimited snacks, and access to my favorite coffee – but I’ve learned that others are better cut out for remote work than I am.

The merits of employing remote workers has long been a subject of debate.  On one side there are supporters who tout remote work as a way to offer employees freedom, autonomy, and trust (while minimizing the need for expensive office space).  On the other side there are detractors who cite concerns about decreased productivity, less collaboration, and disengagement due to distractions.  
With the circumstances surrounding COVID and the safety concerns the pandemic has given rise to, many organizations who were firmly opposed to employing remote workers have been forced to reconsider.  They now find themselves needing to pivot and build strategies for remote work.  Video conferencing services have seen sales skyrocket.  Organizations are retooling technology to allow workers to have remote access to networks and in some cases are paying for more reliable home internet connectivity for key personnel.  They’ve taken steps to solve the logistical challenges of remote work, but they still harbor concern about how to maintain high levels of productivity.  
Some have turned to strict time schedules and monitoring services to police remote work – in many cases failing to consider the impact such practices can have on morale – an impact that will linger longer than the global pandemic.  Technology concerns aside, what can organizations do to ensure workers will be successful working remotely?  How can they avoid the need for policing tactics that create disengagement and resentment?  Research on personality and productivity can provide some insight.
Remote work demands much of the employee.  They need to be disciplined enough to avoid distractions.  They must be capable of planning and prioritizing their own work schedules.  They need to be able to analyze problems and be comfortable pursuing results in an independent, self-reliant fashion.  The need to be able to balance their desire to be creative with a real-time demand to bring tasks to completion.  Although selecting candidates for remote work is a new challenge for many, there are some tried and true principles from employee selection research that can make the process easier.  Self-reliance, conscientiousness, organizational habits, and rule-consciousness are well-researched, known predictors of success – particularly in roles that place a premium on time management and task-orientation.
If your organization is hiring remote workers and you aren’t doing anything to assess these critical traits pre-hire, then you may be leaving some stones unturned.  With the release of our new RemoteFIT assessment process, we will assess these qualities and put a Psychologist on your hiring team. Let us help build a team of employees who fit the unique challenges of remote work.

Interested in using RemoteFIT with your team?
Check back for more information about the RemoteFIT launch!

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