What traits are likely to be most important for effective remote work? It’s an important question given the likely adoption of more and more remote work by organizations.

Dr. Dan Harrison (CEO of Harrison Assessments) has been doing some thinking on the subject and is encouraging leaders to consider traits related to two key aspects of remote work: remote productivity and remote communication.

Remote productivity is the ability to complete individual work and tasks without supervision. Remote productivity requires a lot of initiative, persisting through distractions, being organized, as well as being goal-focused.

Effective remote communication means taking the initiative to communicate and collaborating to improve efficiency. Effective remote communication requires having an open mind, being receptive to feedback, and communicating in a straight-forward way while being respectful.

Those who will thrive in a remote work environment (and who are likely thriving now) will have good skills in both areas. Those who have some weakness in either dimension will likely face some struggles.

If a person is great at managing their own productivity, but not as good at remote communication they might execute well in a bubble but miss out on contributing well with a  team. If a person is great at remote communication, but weak on managing their own productivity, they may be a great “Zoomer” but the team will be hampered by lack of execution.

How are the individuals on your team and in your organization responding to working from home? If they are not doing as well as you would hope, start to think about the effect of these two dimensions and see if you can get to the root cause.

What traits do you think will be critical in the new world of remote work? If you have some thoughts I would love to hear them.