4 different work personalities and how hybrid work can empower them all
Introvert, extrovert, visual processor or asynchronous worker, whatever your professional personality, a tech-driven hybrid workplace can unlock your best contribution.
We are at a unique moment in history where circumstances beyond our control are pushing us to adopt new ways of working, collaborating and learning. While the rapid transition to remote work proved difficult for many, our new distributed work environment also provided new opportunities for others to thrive.
“Creativity and innovation suffer the most when people are separated,” says Nathan Rawlins, marketing director of the visual collaboration suite. Lucid. “So it’s imperative that companies break the silos of our standard ways of working and find ways to bring together employees with different work styles for the benefit of all. “
I asked Rawlins to share his insights on how our new hybrid workplace gives a ‘voice’ to workers, regardless of their workplace personality, on how flexible virtual workspaces can help employees. (i.e. parents) with more fluid schedules to work asynchronously and why employers need to understand the multigenerational impact of hybrid work.
4 working characters
The emerging hybrid workplace offers people with different work “personalities” (introverts, extroverts, visual processors and asynchronous workers) the opportunity to have a voice in new ways.
Introverts: Consider that the open-plan office floor plans we’re all used to, with an array of conference rooms and informal meeting spaces where colleagues can meet in groups, may not be the ideal workspace for people who identify as introverts. Instead, they can feel more comfortable in their own home office where face-to-face interaction is not expected or essential to their roles, and where they can connect virtually with their co-workers all over the place. by having the necessary space for independent work.
“With modern collaboration products designed to support remote working, these employees can still have a ‘voice’ in virtual group meetings without having to speak literally and become the loudest person in the room,” explains Rawlins. “Employees who were previously hesitant to express themselves in a physical brainstorming session might find it much easier to share ideas and express ideas when working virtually. Hybrid work can offer introverts a balance between in-person and remote work opportunities.
Extroverts: On the other end of the spectrum, extroverts in the workplace may have been irritated by how remote working denied them the ability to connect and engage with colleagues in the office. While solutions like Google Meet, Slack Huddles, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom still let them connect for face-to-face conversations, we all know it’s not the same. That’s why hybrid work can be a welcome way for these highly interactive employees to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Visual processors: Visual processors are the ones who prefer to bring out their thought processes. They no longer have to search for the handful of conference rooms with a whiteboard to express their ideas. Various collaborative tools, like those offered by Lucid, give them access to an online canvas to sketch out their ideas and help others see their vision. With the right tools, visual processors can also thrive in a hybrid working environment.
Asynchronous workers: Employees who need an extra level of flexibility to accommodate their fluid schedules are likely to become asynchronous workers. Many working parents, for example, have had to balance their careers with providing care and virtual school support for their children in the past year. For these workers, the typical 9 am to 5 pm workday quickly gave way to a schedule built around math and science lessons, not to mention lunch and recess. This meant working hours extended into early mornings and late evenings, and it became necessary to find ways to asynchronously contribute to team projects without missing a beat.
“As a hybrid and distributed workforce becomes the norm in the future, business leaders will need to find ways to support and engage these asynchronous collaborators,” says Rawlins.
Which professional character do you identify with the most? Of course, it’s entirely possible to adopt multiple work characters at once. Asynchronous workers in particular can identify with more than one work style, as the asynchronous style is more about a worker’s schedule than their innate personality.
Another change to keep in mind regarding the hybrid workplace is its impact on members of different generations. For example, members of the “sandwich generation”, who find themselves caring for aging children and parents, have been particularly affected by the pandemic. Many of these employees have embraced the asynchronous worker persona, where they craft a work schedule that fits their busy and variable schedules.
Meanwhile, members of the baby boomer generation, who have long been seen as strong advocates of the traditional office workplace, embraced remote working more readily than millennial workers. According to Lucid research, one in four millennials reported a decline in their creativity when working from home and would again prefer a dedicated workspace without the distractions of remote working. That’s significantly higher than the older Gen-X (18%) and Boomer (14%) generations. Almost half (43%) of Millennials even said working from home made them more stressed, significantly more than Gen Xers (33%) and Baby Boomers (30%).
“When we look at the workforce more broadly,” says Rawlins, “older employees tend to prefer individual work over team collaboration. ” A GoToMeeting survey found that baby boomers prefer to work alone (41%) more than their millennial colleagues (33%).
When it comes to communication preferences, different generations tend to favor platforms with which they feel comfortable. A Creative Strategies study Last year, workers over 30 were found to prefer email as their primary tool for collaboration, while workers under 30 preferred Google Docs for collaboration, followed by Zoom and iMessage.
“Regardless of the style preferred, organizations must be able to meet these varied needs and preferences to enable all types of workers to collaborate and innovate effectively,” says Rawlins.
The inclusive workplace
What is critical to recognize moving forward is that simply implementing new technology to power the hybrid workplace is not enough. We all need to take an inclusive approach to collaboration and make it a cornerstone of organizational culture. Everyone who works has their value in the workplace and should be supported as companies build their hybrid work culture.
“Employers will have to accept that ensuring effective collaboration and productivity in the workplace cannot be a one-off or one-time event; it has to be a continuous and fluid process, ”says Rawlins. “Business leaders need to help people connect, when and where they work, or they lose talent. “