Leveraging Your Personality for Work from Home Success

Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 9.56.28 PMCan you guess what commute option ranks #1 in interest among downtown Austin employees? It’s telework (AKA work from home).

If skipping traffic altogether sounds like bliss to you, you aren’t alone! The popularity of telework is on the rise, and for good reason. Several studies have shown that working remotely can increase employee happiness and productivity, decrease sick days and stress, and improve overall job satisfaction. Today’s employees value flexibility and work/life balance. And with Austin’s traffic, sometimes the best commute can be no commute at all.

If you want to try it out, how can you make sure that working from home is a home run?

Michael Segovia suggests that understanding your personality type is the key to working from home effectively. He is a trainer for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a personality assessment tool popular in Fortune 1000 companies. No one of the 16 MBTI personality types is inherently better than another, but understanding your own natural preferences can help you design a home office and work structure where you can achieve success. Here are a few key differences he highlights:

Introversion vs. Extroversion

Both introverts and extroverts can enjoy working from home, but have different energy needs. Extroverts might enjoy going to a bustling coffee shop for their morning joe, or scheduling lunch with clients or friends. Introverts will have to be especially vigilant about setting boundaries for uninterrupted work time. Starting work before the rest of the house is awake is one strategy for distraction-free time.

Sensing vs. Intuition

Employees who have a preference for “intuition” are focused on the big picture, while “sensing” individuals drill into the details. If you are a sensing type, you will need to be clear with your boss and co-workers about how you would like information delivered to you; you might benefit from scheduled telephone updates, or a detailed project summary email. But for intuitives, it is more important to set aside time to brainstorm alone as well as chat coworkers about a project’s overall direction.

Thinking vs. Feeling

Individuals who have a “thinking” preference for making decisions are logical and task-focused, and may struggle to communicate sensitively. Segovia suggests moving away from email for important questions and critiques, and establishing weekly meetings. For employees with a “feeling” preference, it is important to get and give feedback. One way to meet the need for appreciation might be sending out thank-you notes or emails, and maintaining relationships through regular phone or in-person interactions.

If you’re an employer or employee interested in telework, we can help you explore that option!

image via Pixabay

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