The sudden and ongoing need to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic caused chaos and uncertainty amongst businesses and employees worldwide. Over the weeks and months, whilst we all learned to adapt to our new normal, some of us have struggled with constant remote working more than others.
77% of home workers said they’d experienced some sort of managerial problem whilst working from home1, with the main reasons for this being misunderstandings due to no face-to-face communication, a lack of leadership, their mental health being overlooked, a lack of support, and micromanagement.
And despite it now being safe to return to the office, for many companies, employees will be adopting a hybrid way of working – and for others, remote working has simply become a way of life.
If you’re managing someone who’s working remotely, you’ll need to adapt your style, to ensure that any potential problems are ironed out before they become real issues.
We’ve analysed the four main personality types, as determined by 16Personalities, and spoke to Career Coach Joanna Blazinska from Leap and Leadership, to provide actionable tips on how you can effectively manage them remotely.
Managing an Analyst Personality Type
Analysts are true problem solvers, remaining logical and calm in difficult situations. As such, they may well have adapted to the changes brought on by COVID-19 easier than other personality types; but because they constantly look for solutions, they can be frustrated by not being able to do anything with regards to the crisis.
When it comes to managing an Analyst remotely, ensure they have access to all of the tools they need, to support their love of information and research. Providing them with clear deadlines and expectations can also continue to motivate them when working remotely.
With a preference to working in smaller groups, where possible, organise virtual meetings where there are just a few of you; and be very specific when asking them for input in a meeting, to avoid other employees suffering from information overload.
Managing a Diplomat Personality Type
Diplomats are compassionate, and love to contribute and collaborate with employees across the business. Because of this, the pandemic probably left them feeling quite discouraged, and concerned for the wellbeing of others.
When managing a Diplomat remotely, continue to nurture their humanistic side, as they’ll be the ones to spread positivity and check in with others.
However, make sure you check in regularly with them too, whether it’s a quick video call or just a message. Diplomats can be so concerned about others’ wellbeing, that they can forget about themselves, which can cause them to burn out.
Managing a Sentinel Personality Type
Sentinels thrive off stability and routine: put simply, they’re a creature of habit. Because of this, the pandemic and subsequent shake-up in the workplace (alongside the rest of their lives) may have discouraged them.
Because Sentinels are such hard workers, they may well have felt a sense of duty to help their colleagues during the pandemic; and their dependability has really helped them during this time, as they’ve been able to focus on their tasks at home.
When managing a Sentinel remotely, just make sure that whilst giving them a clear plan can motivate them, remind them that they need to leave room for flexibility – arranging regular calls with other members of the team where you can catch up on relevant projects can help with that.
Managing an Explorer Personality Type
Enthusiastic, bold, and extremely hands-on, Explorers love to experiment and learn in the workplace. They’re also incredibly flexible, even in the face of uncertainty, which means that they’re great in a crisis.
However, the ongoing pandemic has likely made them feel very demotivated. As their manager, try to get them excited about upcoming projects, and let them enjoy socialising by arranging virtual drinks after work, so they can chat to others.
If you’ve got a big project that you need them to work on remotely, you’ll need to try and avoid them from becoming distracted – regular check-ins where actions are discussed can help with this.
Whilst the worst of the pandemic – and teething issues when it comes to working from home – is over, it’s clear to see that we’ll all need to adapt to a new way of working. Managing a team remotely can present its own set of challenges, but it’s important to remember there are also many benefits to it too. By understanding how to manage your own team according to their personality types, you’ll be able to bring out the best of each member of your team, to ensure you’re all working towards the same goal.
1 Survey of 500 employees undertaken in May 2021 by Censuswide