How is Remote Work Impacting Your Work Force
In this post, we will be looking into the perspective of 220 people and their love/hate relationship with remote work. These views help business leaders understand their employees’ specific behavioral needs to boost morale and productivity in a remote world.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, many businesses have moved to remote workforces. The Predictive Index surveyed 220 professionals to explore the impact of behavioral drives in a remote workplace. The answers to the survey questions provided insight into how behavioral drives impact remote work perceptions. Some people agreed with certain remote work statements, while others disagreed. This depicted how some employees valued certain aspects of remote work while others did not, and it is important to understand these behavioral nuances to better manage, motivate, and inspire employees.
Empathy and Understanding
When there’s no punching out and commuting home to delineate work and non-work hours, lines can blur. Remind your remote employees their health and families come first. We can’t have the same expectations we did before. Let them know it’s OK to do less than usual right now. They’ll repay your empathy with loyalty.
While work and home life are typically separated, a remote workplace makes it harder for these two to be delineated. It is still important to recognize employees especially since not everyone can meet one-on-one to be given recognition. Different people have different preferences, so be sure to recognize your employees in the way they prefer. Give a public shout out to your high Dominance or high Extraversion employees and send an email or handwritten thank you note to your employees who don’t crave the limelight.
Communication and Collaboration
Keep communication open, honest, and positive. Share remote work tips, schedule regular remote team building activities, and keep a pulse on engagement. Regular virtual meetings are a must. Schedule daily team standups, weekly team meetings, weekly manager/ employee 1 on 1s, and monthly professional development discussions. If tone could be misunderstood via email or Slack, hop on the phone for a quick 15-minute call. However, when booking a meeting to provide updates, ask yourself, “Could this be accomplished via email, Slack, or a Soapbox video?” Also, consider implementing no meeting blocks so everyone has a chance to unplug and re-energize.
Persistent profiles are most likely to be motivated by the freedom and autonomy of working remotely. Leverage that by giving them even more of what they crave. Allow Persistent employees autonomy over how to perform their work (e,g., they can set their own deadlines). Give them freedom to connect with others at the frequency and pace they choose. However, these people are most likely to feel exhausted by in-person meetings. And half are exhausted by remote meetings, too. When you do schedule meetings, ask yourself if there is another way to communicate your updates or tasks and go from there.
Stabilizing profiles are least likely to be motivated by the freedom and ambiguity of remote work—they prefer collaboration and clear expectations. Provide opportunities for Stabilizing employees to collaborate with others; cross-functional projects require ongoing teamwork. Also, provide them with guidance regarding best practices for remote work.
Social profiles are most likely to say they feel less sure they’re taking the right actions since working remotely. This is likely because there are fewer opportunities to talk it out and observe body language cues. If you’re managing a Social profile, be sure to carve out time to chat on the phone on a regular basis—in addition to brainstorming and working sessions. Social profiles will also feel less influential among others when working from home. To help them feel motivated and inspired, create opportunities for them to influence others remotely. For example, appoint someone in the Social group to head up your virtual book club or present a deck of their accomplishments at a virtual show and tell.
Dominant profiles need opportunities to influence the work to be done—but they find it harder to have their voices heard during remote meetings. Counteract this by starting each call by coming to a consensus on how each person will get a chance to speak, whether it’s round robin, raising hands, or some other signal. Added bonus: this helps everyone feel heard.
Non-extraverted personalities feel more heard at remote meetings than they do at in- person meetings—perhaps because the remote environment offers less opportunity for extraverted and dominant personalities to “control the room.” The remote workplace, then, is a safe place for those who don’t have a high amount of the Extraversion drive.
Analytical profiles aren’t wired to crave collaboration, so they usually don’t go out of their way to make it happen. But collaboration’s essential to success—and it’s your job as a leader to ensure it happens no matter where your people are located. Adopt a virtual collaboration tool like Google Docs, Miro, or Figma and schedule cross-functional initiatives.
Guardians, who have low Dominance and low Extraversion, are most likely to feel less connected to their teammates in a remote environment. Even your less outgoing employees crave interpersonal interaction from time to time. Schedule a remote team building day with an agenda of activities designed to increase team cohesion and bonding.
Many employees have a love/hate relationship with remote work. They may value some aspects of the remote work environment but feel bothered—or worse, demotivated—by others. This is because we’re all wired differently. And our behavioral drives impact our remote work perceptions. When you understand behavior, you can tailor the way you motivate your employees based on their needs and preferences to increase productivity and engagement.