How to be a successful remote employee – Eight main characteristics

how to be a successful remote employee

Living through a pandemic has brought changes into our lives we had never before considered. One of the biggest shifts has been our working patterns. In April 2020, almost half of Britons did work from home according to ONS. But even without factoring in Coronavirus, home-working was on the rise anyway. Effective remote working can have many benefits for a company. Here at Topcontent, we’re big fans of remote working and we think you should be too!

In this guide, we’re sharing how to be a successful remote employee, going over eight qualities of a good remote worker. Working from home has many benefits, sure, but it’s not as easy as it looks.

Let’s take a look at how to be a successful remote employee with these top characteristics.


This is probably the main quality you need when it comes to working remotely effectively. How do you cope without the buzz and ambiance of the office? Without five catch-ups a day with Sarah from accounting in the kitchen? Working from home can be quite lonely, so you need to make sure you’re a strong independent worker.

If you struggle to make deadlines without your team, effective remote working might not be in your future. You need to be sure of yourself and have plenty of initiative.


This is tied to independence, and another of the main qualities of a good remote worker. You’re on your own with home working, so all motivation will need to come from yourself. If you need the ominous presence of your boss sitting five feet away to motivate you, chances are you won’t be an effective remote employee.

When you don’t have an office to go to, those extra 30 minutes in bed can quickly lead to writing off the day altogether. You must be good at motivating yourself internally, and never let yourself slip.


Sometimes when you’re a home worker, friends and family don’t quite get it. Just because you’re at home on a Tuesday morning, does not mean you are free for coffee and a shopping trip. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ask – it’s your duty to say no. Be firm with your loved ones. They need to understand that you’re still busy during the day, even if you are working in your slippers.

This characteristic also applies to distractions within the home. Yes, your new puppy is cute but spending an hour playing with them rather than writing up that report is not effective remote working (sorry).


When you’re on your own, there’s no one else to keep you on track. How to be a successful remote employee revolves a lot around excellent organisation skills. Set yourself as many to-do lists as it takes – daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly ones! Break down your goals and targets into manageable tasks. Set strict deadlines for yourself. Get into a routine even at home, with set start times, coffee breaks, and finish times.


Although one of the benefits of home working is flexibility, you still need to be reachable. If your company is still operating on a 9-5 basis, you working from 10pm at night until 4am in the morning is not ideal. It’s fine to adjust your schedule for what works for you. If you’re a morning person, work from 7am until 3pm. Night owl? 12pm until 8pm will allow time for that lie-in. But it’s important that you’re available for at least a chunk of the standard working day.

Your coworkers can no longer shout at you from across the room to reply to that memo, either. Reply to emails on time, either as you get them or during a set time. Not letting things slip through the cracks is a key component of how to be a successful remote employee.


Keeping calm in the face of disaster is another of the necessary qualities of a good remote worker. Steve from IT can’t come and fix your computer for you anymore – you’re on your own now. Staying cool and collected when faced with a new problem is a must. You’ll learn to follow online tech guides like a pro in no time.

If there’s a company crisis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re at home and alone. But panicking isn’t going to fix it. You need to keep a cool head and contribute to the problem-solving in an effective way.


Creative problem-solving is another must of effective remote working, especially during the pandemic. Figuring out Zoom calls, getting everybody together when they’re in different time zones, sourcing a new cable when your new puppy chews through yours… These are all things you might need to confront when you’re working from home. Innovative thinking goes a long way when it comes to how to be a successful remote employee.


While being disciplined and organised in your remote working life is crucial, so is striking a balance between work and life. This line becomes even more blurred when you work from home. Since you don’t leave the office at 5pm every day, it can be difficult to switch off properly. However, it’s essential that you learn how to do this. Overworking can lead to burnout, which is not what you or your company wants.

Does this sound like you?

If you’re blessed with all these qualities, then it sounds like you’d make an excellent home worker! Why not join like-minded people and sign up to join Topcontent’s team? We offer online content writing services to businesses around the globe, and we need people with these qualities to join our team!