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The personalities that benefit most from remote work

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200601-the-personalities-that-benefit-most-from-remote-work

bbc.com

The personalities that benefit most from remote work
As we switch to greater virtual working, some of us will find it easier than others. But there are ways to adapt.

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Getting into remote working

Getting into remote working

Workers around the globe have been forced to take on the promise and challenges of virtual teamwork.

Many people are more used to working in person and haven't had the opportunity to prepare for a productive virtual working culture. Getting into a rhythm of remote working with a team can be challenging, especially with many different personalities and aptitudes.

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Working well

Virtual teamwork places greater emphasis on communication and organization.

Over the short-term, newly formed virtual teams experience more negative outcomes, such as team conflict, lower satisfaction, less knowledge sharing, and poorer performance. But, they will adapt and improve over time.

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Adapting quickly

At an individual level, some people will find it easier to adapt than others.

  • A study revealed that when people are imaginative and enjoying a new challenge, they are happier to embrace virtual teamwork.
  • Extroverted individuals prefer face-to-face work, and virtual work may lessen the energy they get from social interaction.
  • Introverts are better at adapting to a virtual environment as it involves less face-to-face interaction.
  • Those who like to make quick decisions prefer virtual teams.

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Changing personalities

Some initial findings suggest that adapting to virtual collaboration may be changing our personalities.

  • Students that participated in one study scored lower on agreeableness - a main personality trait - after a period of virtual working,
  • They also grew more extroverted and open-minded.
  • Students with more extreme personality scores, such as low agreeableness or strong extroversion, came out f the experience closer to the average.

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Optimizing work for all

There are established ways to cultivate positive team cultures, even virtually.

  • Schedule time for virtual water-cooler chats.
  • Consider how you're going to work together and what the rules of engagement will be.
  • Introduce a daily stand-up meeting, no more than 15 minutes, during which each member says what they did yesterday, what they plan for today, and outlines obstacles.

The aim of stand-up meetings, informal virtual chats, and other new routines is to help people feel they are part of a team, which will increase mutual trust - a hallmark of a high-functioning team.

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Statistics On Remote Workers

  • Loneliness was reported as the biggest downside for 21% of remote employees, and one of the reasons that makes them more likely to quit.
  • Most remote managers say they’d be more inclined to stay if they had more friends at work.
  • Individuals who have 15 minutes to socialize with colleagues have a 20% increase in performance over their peers who don't.
  • Positive social relationships are correlated with better life expectancy.

Dynamic Icebreakers

If your icebreaker questions are intriguing, cheeky, humorous – the answers you receive will be, too.

Many remote teams will kick off their weekly meeting with an icebreaker question or insert it during their morning stand-up meeting. Even more popular is asking a series of icebreaker questions during the onboarding process when hiring someone.

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Early times

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From factories to cubicles to WiFi

Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.

Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.

Remote work is common

4.3 million people currently work from home in the United States at least half of the time, and this figure has grown by 150% in the last 13 years.  

Remote workers tend to have higher engagement rates and higher productivity levels. Once they switch to remote work, they rarely want to become office bound again.

The Error in Isolating Events

The Error in Isolating Events
  • Many studies have been conducted regarding the psychological impact of a one particular event, like the trauma associated with the ongoing health crisis, or sudden job loss....

Good News, Bad News

A comprehensive study on Australian households, measuring the quality of wellbeing over 16 years found the following results:

  1. The biggest emotional scars come from deaths, divorce, and heavy financial losses.
  2. Negative events linger in the mind for much longer than the positive ones.
  3. The emotional costs involved with separation (like from a spouse) can be significant, and should be avoided unless completely necessary.
  4. Problems rarely come all at once, and most people recover, showing resilience and adaptability.

You Remain What You Are

Our level of wellbeing does not change much, with each event, even a catastrophic one, impacting us for a length of time, say a year or two, and then becoming normal to our minds, returning us to our previous levels of wellbeing.

This applies to boosts as well as the plunges.