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This spring, more than one third of employed Americans were working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as of September, nearly 23 percent still are. Some companies are even making a permanent shift to remote work, or granting employees the option to work from home if they choose. 

For many college students and recent graduates, this sounds like a dream come true. No commute, no sitting through in-person meetings, and limited time spent navigating office drama. However, working from home takes a good deal of discipline, motivation and maturity. During the coronavirus pandemic, some employees found that working remotely posed unforeseen challenges: distraction, disorganization and lack of accountability, to name a few. 

If you’re questioning whether or not you have what it takes to work from home long-term, here are a few indicators that you’re up to the task.

  1. You have internal motivation and drive. Internal motivation is one of the biggest predictors of success when working from home. Without the direct external motivation and accountability from superiors, co-workers, and the office environment, you will need to be personally passionate about doing quality work and completing it on time. 
  2. You have good problem solving skills. Working remotely means there will not always be a supervisor or colleague available to oversee your work or answer questions. You will have to be able to creatively solve minor problems on your own and be proactive about reaching out for help with larger problems.  
  3. You have self-discipline and boundaries. Without a strict schedule or other people telling you how to spend your time, you will need to have a lot of discipline to successfully work from home. This means setting a realistic work schedule and sticking to it with focus and determination, but it also means setting boundaries between work and play and giving yourself time to rest and recharge. 
  4. You can follow your intuition. There are some gray areas when working from home where the traditional rules don’t apply and you will need to follow your intuition and your instincts about what is helpful and effective. Some days you might need to take a longer lunch break in order to clear your mind. Other days you will work late into the night. You will need to be comfortable with the lack of hard and fast rules. 
  5. You enjoy alone time. Working from home can get a little lonely at times. Without the office buzz and presence of co-workers you may find yourself bored, distracted or even a little depressed. To successfully work from home, you will need to adjust to appreciating alone time, or find ways of building a robust social life outside of work.