Welcome to our feature, Remote Worker Well-Being.
Perhaps you personally are convinced of the significance of employee wellness, but you wonder how to persuade the rest of your leadership team to prioritize well-being during a global pandemic.
The benefit of taking care of your employees will outweigh the cost of doing so. Recent research found that companies that adopted five of these wellness initiatives were able to improve employee loyalty by 79%, helping retain top talent while saving the time, money, and resources needed.
Remote Worker Well-Being
Remote worker wellbeing has suffered during the 2020/ 2021 lockdowns. There have been no gradual onboarding for new employees. Or water cooler intrigue for those who enjoy such social experiences in their ‘personalized’ office environment.
So… How have remote workers reacted?…
How easily do different personalities adapt to a remote working environment?
In summary, in terms of Big Five personality character, effective remote work relies upon 3 key personality traits:
Conscientiousness describes people’s motivation, discipline and capacity for long-term planning.
Employees with higher levels of conscientiousness tend to be more self-motivated and able to manage their own schedules and deadlines independently.
High conscientiousness is a significant asset in a remote working environment, and those with high conscientiousness tend to be better able to manage and organise their workload, deadlines, schedules and responsibilities when working independently.
Those with lower conscientiousness are likely to need more oversight and support.
How to manage highly conscientious remote workers
- Those remote workers with higher conscientious personality profiles tend to want more autonomy and independence in their work.
- They tend to be good at managing their own schedules, but may have more difficulty switching off, especially when at home.
Managing remote workers with ‘low conscientious profiles’
- Whereas, remote workers with lower conscientiousness often need more external support, accountability and regular check-ins to keep on track.
- They tend to be more motivated by their immediate physical and social environment.
- So tend to need external help with time management.
(2) Adjustment and Adaptability personality traits
This explains how people react to stressors and someone’s ability to manage and regulate their own emotions. Hence, remote workers with:
- Higher adjustment levels tend to have an easier time adapting to some of the new demands and stressors of working remotely.
- Lower adjustment levels may find new working environments stressful. They may, however, also find working remotely relieves some of the stressors present in traditional working environments.
How to manage high adjustment remote workers?
- Higher adjustment remote workers adapt more quickly and feel less anxiety than others.
- But this also means they are more likely to seem aloof.
- In times of extreme challenge or stress they may be less comfortable discussing anxieties.
- So prompting these discussions may be necessary.
How to manage low adjustment remote workers?
Reassurance and clarity can be very helpful. Hence remote workers with
- Lower adjustment may be more likely to ruminate or jump to worst-case-scenario thinking.
- It’s important for managers to provide open and honest information and reinforce the importance of their contribution at work.
(3) Intellectual Curiosity personality trait(s)
- Remote workers with higher levels of curiosity enjoy learning new things, and they tend to enjoy new work environments.
- Those with higher curiosity are likely to adapt more quickly to new situations and enjoy the process of learning.
- They tend to adapt more quickly to new tools and technologies and many have a preference for remote or flexible working environments.
Managing remote work personality profiles with high curiosity
- Remote workers with high curiosity tend to enjoy novelty
- Typically, learning new things, and are often quicker to adapt.
- They may be more distractible and can benefit from managers keeping them focused.
- Sometimes needing guidance when prioritising objectives.
Managing low curiosity remote workers
People with lower curiosity need much more consistency and regularity in their schedules, tasks and work. Those with lower curiosity often prefer more consistency in schedules and meetings, and may benefit from making their home working space resemble a traditional office environment.