working from home

Types of Remote Workers and How to Support Them

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every aspect of the corporate landscape. Employees who have been accustomed to working in an office environment have to transition to remote work amid a global health crisis.

Organizations have to make telework arrangements and find technology solutions to support employees working at home. Employers have to provide all-in-one desktop PCs to allow employees to have their own workstations at home and resume work responsibilities beyond the usual office workspace.

While everyone is at home doing their own thing, managers still have the responsibility to support the needs of their employees. To provide the best support, they need to identify first the type of remote workers they’ll be dealing with. While each persona possesses unique characteristics and behaviors, they also come with different challenges and solutions for attaining success and productivity in a remote workforce.

To ensure a successful and productive workforce amid a pandemic, we’ll explore the different types of remote workers and how to deal with them.

The Grinder

Work-life balance doesn’t exist with this type of worker. This employee is willing to answer calls during day-offs and accomplish reports in the wee hours of the morning! These overachievers can’t simply say no to working overtime. They fear the idea of missing out on office affairs, and burnout is naturally in their system.

Grinders think the harder they work, the more they do better. But it’s an obvious fact that overworking has negative impacts on our physical and mental health. These employees are prone to poor eating habits, insufficient sleep, and mental health issues, causing them to perform poorly at work. Encouraging them to take long breaks will increase their job satisfaction, efficiency, and productivity.

The Loner

The loners or the “shy ones” certainly benefited the most when companies shifted to remote work. They want to avoid office interactions as much as possible, and they work best on any project alone.

They’re invisible during interactive sessions as if they’re always on mute. When you leave a message on the work chat, you’ll see them online but won’t comment on anything.

Loners hate small talks and won’t even take part in making fun plans with the team. While this worker takes out the burden from managers in terms of micromanaging, their lack of participation ruins the overall productivity. According to a Gallup report, companies are losing $450 billion to $550 billion each year because of disengaged employees.

Although they can do quality work, it’s important to encourage the team to keep them on board. Besides acknowledging their presence, invite them in group sessions to ensure a diverse and powerful team.

The Social Butterfly

Staying connected is what propels this type of worker. They love sending memes and at-the-moment photos on group chats. Even at home, this worker never misses out on the juiciest gossips in the workplace. They do a great job at keeping everyone together and preventing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Although they’re good at setting the mood in the workplace, these chatty workers are among the causes of low productivity.

Make it a point to discuss your concerns with the employee. Acknowledge their contribution at work, but remind them that anything too much can disrupt the performance of everyone in the team.

The Nocturnals

Remote workers are strange animals. While others prefer to jump on their desks right after waking up, these office night owls prefer to work in the evening, the time when they feel the most productive. Avoiding socialization and social awkwardness are also reasons why they work when everyone else is sleeping.

When dealing with nocturnal workers, try to give them some space and flexibility. They can manage deadlines but don’t call them in the morning. Having a team collaboration platform will help these workers not to miss out on important work announcements.

The Slackers

This worker is simply a pain in the neck in almost any situation. Allowing them to work remotely can be a challenge for managers since they slack without close supervision. Although they have the potential in team projects, this worker never runs out of excuses when it’s time to turn in their outputs.

Maintaining control is tough work in remote teams. If you have an employee who constantly slacks at work, instruct the whole team to use a time tracker to monitor how they’re using their work hours wisely.

A remote workforce can do many wonders in an organization despite working outside the traditional office environment. Knowing each of their personalities and work styles will help you identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will also help you design an approach to help them adjust to new work arrangements.

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