If you are at all interested in flexible/mobile work, you may find this new article by Michelle Conlin of Business Week worth reading (“Is There a Virtual Worker Personality?”
Michelle is an excellent writer about the world of work, with a deep interest in flexible/remote work and all its implications. She was the author of another BW article back in late March describing how telecommuting was shifting from being an employee perk to a corporate imperative (“Telecommuting: Once a Perk, Now a Necessity“).
I blogged about that article here, and added some additional perspectives on our experiences at SCAN Health, the company featured in Michelle’s article (there’s also an even more-detailed description of the SCAN story in this post).
But back to work styles. This latest article highlights the interaction between working remotely and personality type. Her conclusion: introverts have serious difficulties working out of the office (no real surprise – that’s a perspective that Charlie Grantham and I have been suggesting for years). She’s got some good anecdotal data, and even cites a more formal study of several hundred mobile workers at Cisco Systems.
Five years into the mainstreaming of mobile work, there’s a growing enlightenment, buttressed by new research, that the benefits of working remotely are actually a bit more complicated, and nuanced, than the cheerleaders said. In all the effusive rah-rah’ing over this great employee unleashing, many managers overlooked a simple fact: Some of us are simply not—by temperament, psychology, or personality type—wired for the life of the digital nomad.