You are currently viewing How do you find effective remote workers? Look for these 11 traits.

How do you find effective remote workers? Look for these 11 traits.

Remember the days when everyone commuted to work, and it was business as usual? Then, the pandemic hit, and we all became remote workers or were suddenly out of work. It’s hard to believe that was just six months ago.

Many US employees are still working remotely due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, compared to European companies that have largely ended remote work programs. In addition, productivity has declined as reported by Aternity: 85% of Americans are still working away from the office and their overall productivity has dropped by 14%.

It sure seems like remote working is going to be here to stay, in some form, for most organizations. However, you want to know that your remote workers are being productive and contributing to your company’s bottom line.

So, what should you do? You specifically recruit remote employees who have the right qualities to be truly committed remote workers. You need people who can discipline themselves. They hit or exceed their deadlines, do above average work, and likely have a very clean home office!

Here are 11 traits to help you identify great remote workers during the recruitment and hiring process:


When you interview candidates for a remote position, send them an email. Send it during work hours and see how promptly they answer you. Are they passionate about the work they do? Do they clearly convey their ideas? Look for someone who is motivated and can be productive for the entire workday.

Interview Tip: Ask candidates how they get motivated and how they prioritize their work responsibilities.

Tech savvy

Technological advancements make it possible for people to stay connected. Remote workers must be able to navigate computers and know the latest technology. It’s crucial that anyone you hire knows how to use the right solutions, or they can pick them up quickly.

Interview Tip: See if candidates are familiar with your preferred tools, or something similar, in their previous jobs.

Skilled written communicator

It’s no surprise that you want remote workers to be good at verbal and written communications. Remote work means participating in video chats and sharing information via email, instant messaging, and other platforms.

Interview Tip: In an initial interview, it should be fairly easy to tell if someone will be able to communicate up to your standards.


Being able to work together as a team is something that cannot be very easily taught. Remote workers need to be able to build on the efforts of their colleagues. They need to know what their teammates are doing and how they can complement it.

Interview Tip: Involve your current team in the interview process to see if everyone can work together.

Independent decision-making

Of course, you want your employees to follow directions and adhere to your company’s standards and guidelines. Obviously, you’ll provide clear instructions on their responsibilities and tasks. But, then what? Are you getting endless questions from new hires asking how do things?

Interview Tip: Give candidates the title and a link to an article that you want them to read, and give you feedback on it. But, attach a link that’s for a different article. See if they search for the right article on their own.

Produces good work

Anyone you employ should be doing good work that helps the organization meet its goals. Be sure that a potential remote hire has the big ideas they’ll need to tackle their work if they get the job.

Interview Tip: Ask the candidate what they plan to accomplish in the first month, six months, and during the first year.


It’s easy to be motivated in a traditional workplace. There isn’t anything else to do but your work. Successful remote employees must avoid the distractions of TV, the internet, constant notifications, and everything else that comes up when working at home.

Interview Tip: Check if candidates have a designated home office space and a plan to minimize distractions.

Time management skills

One of the benefits of working from home is that remote workers can set their own schedules. So, anyone you hire needs to be able to properly manage their time when they’re working, and be available for meetings to collaborate with others.

Interview Tip: Find out what time of day candidates do their best work, and if they can be available when you need them to be.

Ability to prioritize

When you give tasks to a remote worker, they need to be able to organize their time and meet the given deadlines. But what about when everything is a priority? Remote workers must keep in contact with you, and let you know if something has come up and thrown their work off track. Then, be able to make a plan to get back on track.

Interview Tip: Ask candidates how they would decide which types of tasks are urgent and important, and which ones to tackle first.


Your remote team members will need to figure out how to effectively do their jobs with the tools they have available. They’ll need to be able to solve problems on their own. Why is this important? When you have remote workers who are constantly learning and challenging themselves, you have resourceful people who figure things out and get stuff done.

Interview Tip: Give candidates a problem to solve related to a fake job task and see how they think through it to find a solution.


Every good relationship is built on trust. If you don’t have it, relationships fall apart. So, if you don’t trust the person who is working remotely, you’re going to lose sleep. You may have to go with your gut and use your own judgement — then take a leap of faith on a good remote candidate.

Interview Tip: Go with your gut.

Some people are more cut out for working from home than others. In my opinion, as an introvert who has worked at home for over 23 years, I have thrived working remotely. I’m organized, highly-driven, and passionate about what I do. In today’s digital workplace, it’s vital that remote workers have the right traits to work on their own.

READ MORE: Are your employees happy? 7 ways to engage your workforce.

At CatalystXL, we want to help you quickly and easily share information and foster collaboration across your entire organization. We can deliver a no code, custom branded app that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware platform — sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format. Our mobile app fosters a community of collaboration, engagement, and connectedness for your employees – both in and out of the office.

Book a demo with CatalystXL.