Remote Working

Psychological Consultancy Ltd. has launched a free Remote Worker Support Initiative based on research results from a study conducted with Shaun Biggs from the University of West England.  With this greater understanding about the challenges and pressures of remote working and the personalities that are most at risk, the initiative provides a complimentary personality assessment using our renowned Profile:Match2 tool. The resulting report will determine where you sit on the personality scales of ten different characteristics. This information can be completed and shared with your remote working team members to allow for tailor made support strategies to be implemented. Click below to access the assessment or scroll down to read more! 

remote working

With the ongoing remote working debate – the focus seems to be on the workplace rather than the workforce. How can you continue to nurture talent in such a dynamic landscape?

Whilst many of us have relished our new remote working routines, we also accepted it as a short-term necessary solution to combat the threat of Covid-19, knowing that we’d be back in the office as soon as possible. But with businesses worldwide now announcing plans for a longer term remote working model, will this change employee mindset? Geoff Trickey, Business Psychologist and CEO of Psychological Consultancy Ltd., considers the impact of this on employee wellbeing and productivity.

For some, working remotely has fulfilled dreams; given the autonomy always longed for, supercharged productivity whilst efficiently dovetailing work responsibilities with personal needs. For others, the initial ‘we’re all in this together’ enthusiasm  has long since faded away with the prolonged confusion and uncertainty. They’re experiencing ‘working from home fatigue’, feeling isolated and increasingly invisible as ‘remote’ becomes the operative word.

Working remotely has a range of perceived potential advantages. Research by Ter Hoeven and Van Zoonen (2015) indicates it can improve work/life balance, support job autonomy and increase employee well-being. However, it’s not all good news. A study by Grant et al. (2013) highlights the potential danger of remote workers becoming ‘invisible’, at great risk of experiencing reduced wellbeing, diminished job effectiveness and a poorer work-life balance. On face value, these findings appear contradictory, yet, the second study also identifies mediating factors that appear to determine the success (or failure) of the remote working arrangements. These include management style, employee-employer interaction and our individual differences. Given the speed with which the majority of us had to adopt an enforced remote working strategy, it’s not surprising that the risk of mis-managing our team members has risen significantly.

One consideration for an employer is to appreciate the circumstances of home working set-ups and their longer-term implications. For example, whether a team member lives alone, has the facilities, equipment and working environment to support their productivity, or, whether they’re balancing remote working with childcare or other dependants, as well as a swathe of other factors, should be taken into account. At this level, showing flexibility and establishing communication routines make an important contribution.

At another level, how can an individual or team manager address the more emotional and personal consideration likely to arise from these considerable and unexpected changes in working practices? Rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach, understanding your own or your team member’s personality traits will help to identify where support strategies may be required for individuals that may be struggling in adapting to their new working routine.

This understanding will give an individual psychometric insight into their personality. For example, an individual measuring high on the sociability scale, might thrive in those weekly Zoom quizzes, whereas an individual who is more task focussed may dread the idle chat at the start of video calls. It’ll also help to identify the team members who may be more self-critical and require regular feedback and moral support – or the team members that are thriving in autonomy, remaining thorough and organised in their approach to work and relishing their new-found independence. Personality assessment can play an indispensable role in planning and addressing tailored support reflecting the needs of the individuals in question.