How to check employees' aptitude for working remotely 


Encapsulate Consulting co-founder Kirsten Halcrow says there are eight key personality traits to look out for. 

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a rapid upward trajectory in remote working, doubling over the last 10 years. This meant that companies were faced with making sure candidates have the right skills for the job, as well as remote worker skills and mindset. The perfect candidate to work in an office might fail miserably working from home. Today, companies no longer have a choice. Teachers, human resources, sales, information technology, financial advisors, insurance, and project managers are quickly transitioning from office workers to remote workers in an instant.

Business leaders and managers are lying awake at night faced with a new dilemma - how do you ensure the survival of your business in 2020 and are your teams equipped and skilled to work remote?

Working remotely without the structure provided by a traditional office environment is challenging for many. It requires a specific type of character and competency, discipline and the ability to self manage. Curiosity and the willingness to adopt new digital tools and platforms. Not all employees are hard-wired to work remotely.

Today’s uncertain environment is forcing companies to adopt new ways of work in order to survive. The problem is that working and performing in these new ways doesn’t come naturally to everyone. What’s also apparent is that these new work trends are not temporary, and we feel that organisations need to take steps to become self-aware and it is important for organisations to find solutions that will help them understand each team members’ strengths and weaknesses when it comes to being able to work well remotely.

There may factors that determine whether a person can be productive working remotely but at Encapsulate Consulting, we have identified eight personality dimensions shown as key to successfully working remotely, namely;

  1. flexibility 
  2. goal orientedness, 
  3. good citizenry,
  4. open-mindedness, 
  5. organising skills, 
  6. self-confidence, 
  7. social awareness; and
  8. work ethic.



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Pamela Xaba is the founder of Nonkosi Creatives, and has over two decades of experience as a corporate HR professional. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion both in workspaces and society.