What Personality Types Do Best in Hybrid Work? (Video & Podcast)

6 min read
What Personality Types

To optimize hybrid work arrangements, use the Big Five personality test to measure team member personality and have those high in Conscientiousness, Introversion, Openness to Experience, and Emotional Stability spend more time working from home. That’s the key take-away message of this episode of the Wise Decision Maker Show, which describes the personality types that do best in hybrid work.

Video: “What Personality Types Do Best in Hybrid Work?”

Podcast: “What Personality Types Do Best in Hybrid Work?”

Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the wise decision maker show where we help you make the wisest and most profitable decisions. Today we’ll talk about what personality types do best in hybrid work. My name is Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, and the CEO of disaster avoidance experts, the future of work consultancy, that sponsors the wise decision makers show. And now to the episode topic. So let’s talk about variance and hybrid work and employee performance. Many employees clearly see Excel while they’re working remotely, whether it’s fully remote work, or in hybrid work during the periods when they’re working from home. But some others do struggle. And these differences caused frustration and confusion to me, managers who are trying to figure out hybrid remote work full time in office work, what should I have my teams do. And as a result, they see that managers because they have trouble figuring this out, they’re confused. They often mistrust employee productivity outside the office. For example, Microsoft, the company, did a lot of research showing that managers have productivity paranoia. 85% of leaders report lacking confidence in employee productivity when they’re working remotely, which is pretty problematic. We know that people who are remote working remotely are highly productive and these skills improved during the pandemic. So that is definitely the case, I’ll give you a Stanford University study peer reviewed study that showed that remote workers were 5% more productive than in office ones and 2020. But that gap increased to 9% in 2022, over two years, because of improved technology and better facilitation by companies of remote work. People learned how to work together better, how to collaborate better, managers learned how to lead remote workers better, hybrid workers better, so the amount of time that people work remotely. So people are definitely overall on average, more effective, more productive when they work remotely. But this is mediated by personality differences, simply personality differences do drive some seemingly random performance differences separately from do they have a nice environment at home? Are they able to not have distractions, they have a comfortable home office, personality differences definitely play a role. So you want to think about how to match hybrid work arrangements to personality traits to optimize performance, resulting in a win-win for all involved. Let’s talk about that. Well, how do you measure employee personality, you want to use the right measurements, you want to use validated tests, not tests that are actually pretty bad predictors of job performance, like disc and MBTI, Myers Briggs, they have limited predictive validity for job performance, and low test retest reliability, meaning when you take the test, and then you take the test, again, that you get the same scores, right. For that test, retest reliability. If the test is actually measuring something real, do you need to have consistent scores on disk and MBTI? Don’t there’s a lack of norming. So evaluating whether the same groups have the same scores if they have the same supposed personality differences, as measured by disc and MBTI. And poor internal consistency measures, when you compare various metrics to one another Harvard Business Review article, confirm their lack of reliability reporting on a number of studies that show that MBTI are not very good. By contrast, the Big Five personality test is actually very effective. And I’m not saying this as someone who has any financial compensation from the Big Five personality test is just what the research shows actually is valid. So it offers a reliable science based option to evaluate people’s personalities. It’s a big best practice in this area. It has a high degree of predictive validity for performance and test retest reliability, meaning people will have the same test results over time. And we know that it predicts job performance. So it’s a very good test in that regard. What are the components of the Big Five? What are the big five, you have conscientiousness is one extraversion is another third is emotional stability, also known as neuroticism. Fourth, is openness to experience, and fifth is going to be agreeableness. So that’s the five components of the Big Five, and those are the big five. So employee assessment through the Big Five, the assessment is quite effective. Multiple studies show that it has predictive power. For example, a study found that higher conscientiousness correlated with better performance in five occupational groups. So my clients administer Big Five personality tests to employees, along with a survey focused on hybrid work, and the same changes in employee performance during the time that we implemented the hybrid work policies. Let’s talk about the Big Five conscientiousness and performance while people are working remotely whether it’s a hybrid work portfolio, Network conscientiousness refers to people who are organized, reliable self discipline, they take initiative, it strongly correlates with higher performance during remote work. Now, we know that highly conscientious employees perform better even in the office. But the performance gap is higher between those who are stronger and weaker in conscientiousness, while they work from home. So because people who are lower in conscientiousness for the office keep them more conscientious, they are kept more on target when they’re in office. But when people are working remotely, they need to be more individual workers. And that’s where being high conscientiousness really helps. All right, and this is clearly statistically significant. So probability is lower than point o one, that this is a null hypothesis for those who care about the statistics and want to get into that. And this, by the way, comes from a number of I told you that’s coming from my clients performing these assessments. I gathered all of this data together to create studies and broad research based on the number of clients. And this is what the findings show that the probability of that being an old hypothesis of conscientiousness, not being a predictor of higher performance in remote work, comparatively, to whether people have compared to in office work, that’s the probability of that is by less than point to one so less than a percent. extraversion and performance, extraversion. You know what that means: sociable, outgoing, talkative, someone who’s assertive, energized by others, and introversion is the opposite. Now, people who are extroverted do perform less well while working from home compared to in the office. Because they’re lonely, they’re socially isolated. And that’s not so much of a challenge for people who are introverted, it’s somewhat of a challenge for them. But it’s less of a challenge than for people who are extroverted. So for those with higher extraversion, this is a big problem. So this is definitely of high statistical significance. Probability of the null hypothesis is less than point to one, meaning less than 1% emotional stability, neuroticism and performance, emotional stability, it’s kind of like it sounds calm, even tempered, phlegmatic, resilient, less prone to negative emotions or positive ones. It predicts higher performance outside the office with statistical significance of probability of null hypothesis less than point o five, meaning less than 5%. So it’s not as strong of a finding, as we have for extraversion and conscientiousness. Remote work does require greater emotional self regulation, because you don’t have the power of other people in the office to help regulate you and keep you grounded. So it’s kind of understandable while working remotely so people who spend their time working remotely, why having more emotional stability will be better. Openness and performance. Let’s talk about openness to experience, Openness to Experience refers to being open minded, creative, curious, imaginative, thinking outside the box. People higher and openness do perform somewhat better while working remotely with statistical significance of the null hypothesis being less than point o five. So that means less than 5%. Again, comparable to emotional stability, less important than less artistically significant, but still statistically significant, then extraversion and conscientiousness, lower openness scores means that people struggle to adjust, I think, it seems like to some of the novel elements of working from home. So that’s why it seems to be the case that openness to experience correlates to stronger performance. So people who are more open to the novel elements of working from home do perform better there. Finally, agreeableness, kind of like it sounds cooperative, focuses on compromise, avoids conflict, not argumentative, there is no statistical significance and performance for agreeableness, we could find pretty similar performance. So what does that imply for personality differences in remote work preferences? Well, managers are still suspicious of remote workers because some workers perform less well. And even the same condition, same roles and so on. And that’s because of personality differences. So a large majority, on average, do perform better. We saw that in performance measurements, but managers focus on the poor performance due to the cognitive bias known as the availability bias. You focus on what’s most easily accessible in your memory, which is likely to be a negative experience with those bad performers. So how do you use the Big Five assessments for optimal remote work? You want to develop datasets of personality traits affecting remote work performance among your employees by giving the Big Five personality assessment. And then you want to adjust work for different personalities, including training managers on the Big Five personality assessments so that they can manage their teams better. So here’s an example, someone who is high in conscientiousness, and low in extraversion would be great for full remote work or mostly remote work. Because conscientiousness high congestion justice correlates with better performance while working remotely. And high extraversion correlates with a worse performance while working remotely. That means low. I’m sorry, high conscientiousness can correlate with better performance while working remotely while high extraversion correlates with worse performance while working remotely. So you want someone who’s quite high conscientiousness and low extraversion. High extraversion and low conscientiousness, by contrast, would be someone who performs better in the office for more of the time. Now, people can definitely overcome these challenges. So people with high extraversion and low conscientiousness, it’s definitely doable for them to succeed in remote work, I’ve seen it happen, but it is a constant struggle. So it requires support from the manager and the team to address loneliness, isolation, keep them grounded, keep them organized, and that performance may slip after the initial burst of passion for remote work. So you want to have structure, motivation and socialization benefits of the office are important. So you want to deliberately replace those for people who are high extraversion and low conscientiousness. If you want them to work more time remotely, to optimize Teespring team performance, assess the personality traits of team members, and the depth hybrid work arrangements to fit their needs. train everyone on hybrid and remote work best practices. And that’s how you’ll get a win-win solution for everyone. All right, everyone. I hope you found this episode helpful. Again, my name is Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, and I’m the CEO of disaster avoidance experts, the future of work consultancy that sponsors the wise decision maker show, please make sure to subscribe to the show. Wherever you check this out and leave a review. It helps other people discover the show and it helps us improve the show. Alright everyone. I look forward to seeing in the next episode of the wise decision maker show. In the meantime, the wisest and most profitable decisions to my friends.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky was lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times for helping leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/newsletter/.