These days, there are all kinds of psychometric tests that enable employees to take stock of their strengths and skills. These can be used to highlight the different professional personas that coexist in the workplace, helping them to work together more effectively.
Professional messaging service Slack surveyed more than 15,000 office workers around the world to identify their behavioural competencies and the way they behave at work. It discovered that there are five typical worker profiles: detectives, road warriors, networkers, problem solvers, and expressionists.
The most common profile is that of the detective, which accounted for 30% of survey respondents. Detectives are staff who know a lot about what’s going on in their company, and are constantly seeking to acquire new knowledge to better help their colleagues.
They describe themselves as organised individuals who like to do things themselves. The determined nature of detectives leads them to seek meaning in the work they do, as well as some form of stability.
These workers are particularly numerous in France (38%), the United Kingdom (34%), and the United States and Germany (both 33%). They are much rarer in Singapore (21%) and India (16%).
Since detectives like to be in the know, they prefer to work face-to-face. More than 20% are opposed to full-time remote working – an opinion they share with networkers.
The latter group has the same taste for knowledge as detectives, but place even greater emphasis on making knowledge available to as many people as possible.
The majority of networkers think it’s vital that all employees are informed about what’s going on within their company (56%). Their outgoing personalities lead them to develop friendships at the office, which explains why they don’t necessarily appreciate high levels of working from home.
The UK, US, Germany and Australia have large numbers of networkers in their workforces, unlike Japan and South Korea.
AI for some, emojis for others
Another workplace persona highlighted in the research is that of the road warrior. The name refers to professionals who like to have the freedom to work from different locations and at different times.
Road warriors particularly appreciate flexibility and autonomy, as most of them like to work wherever and whenever they want (53%). They know how to be adaptable, which enables them to forge links with their colleagues without having to see them “in real life”.
There are many road warriors in Japan (28%) and Singapore (26%), but not so many in India (18%) and South Korea (19%).
While road warriors crave freedom, problem solvers want to save time. They have an aversion to repetitive tasks and seek to avoid them at all costs. That’s why they often turn to new technologies – especially artificial intelligence – to be more productive.
Three quarters of the problem solvers surveyed are enthusiastic about advances in AI, compared with 42% of respondents. Unsurprisingly, this is particularly the case in technophile nations such as India (23%), South Korea (22%), and Japan and Singapore (both 20%).
Expressionists, too, have a keen interest in AI, but they also love memes, emojis and GIFs. These employees rely on visual communication to interact with their colleagues.
They want their personalities to shine through in their professional interactions, which is why they adopt a less formal attitude than many of their colleagues.
Expressionists are numerous in India (21%), South Korea (15%) and Singapore (12%), but are rarer in the UK (7%), France (7%) and Germany (6%). Generally speaking, expressionists account for only 10% of the working population.
These results, however, should not be taken at face value. Personality tests can be a very useful starting point for thinking about how you relate to others, how you organise your tasks, how you concentrate, and what role emotions play in your life; but the results are based on tendencies or trends, which means that there are no good or bad profiles.
Nevertheless, such tests can offer an indication of the kind of professional environment in which you will be able to make the most of your skills.