Desk workers display different “work personalities” that indicate how they work best and how leaders can offer a supportive work environment, according to a Nov. 8 report from Slack.
These five personas — The Detective, The Road Warrior, The Networker, The Problem Solver and The Expressionist — explain how many workers engage with colleagues, share knowledge and conquer their day-to-day tasks with technology.
“Whether you have five or 5,000 people, every workplace has a unique ecosystem of personalities, skill sets and working styles,” Christina Janzer, senior vice president of research and analytics for Slack, said in a statement.
“This new research shows that regardless of industry or country, no two employees work exactly alike — which makes it even more crucial to enable people to play to their unique strengths with a flexible productivity platform, like Slack,” she said.
In a survey of more than 15,000 desk workers around the world, the five distinct workplace personas emerged. A third of employees are detectives, while only 10% are expressionists.
- Detectives, who enjoy searching for knowledge and sharing solutions with others, are organized, driven by a sense of purpose and job security, and prefer face-to-face communication.
- Road Warriors, who often work from different locations and different times, are outgoing, driven by flexibility and enjoy creating connections with colleagues virtually.
- Networkers, who are the best communicators and collaborators, are driven by relationships with colleagues and prefer being co-located with their team.
- Problem solvers, who dislike repetitive tasks, enjoy automation, sharing tips and tricks with their colleagues and exploring the potential of AI tools.
- Expressionists, who prefer visual and less formal communication such as emojis and memes, enjoy being fun and lighthearted at work.
Importantly, these personas varied on their excitement, hesitation and anticipation of AI tools in the workplace. Most workers expressed a positive outlook, according to the survey, especially younger workers and those who manage others. In particular, 48% of problem solvers and 48% of expressionists expressed excitement about AI and how it makes them feel more productive.
Overall, more than a third of workers said they’re excited or energized about new technology and eager to be more productive. At the same time, some workers said they felt overwhelmed because there’s not enough time to learn or they think it’ll be too hard to learn. About half said their company provides training, while others said their company lags behind in leveraging AI for automation.
“Training is an important factor to consider, as employees at companies that provide adequate technology training are less inclined to feel anxious and overwhelmed and more likely to feel productive, excited and energized,” according to the report.
Despite recent unease about AI, worker confidence may be growing, according to a recent Robert Half report. In particular, HR professionals and tech workers said the technology could have a positive effect on their career, increase demand for their skills and boost efficiency and productivity.
At the same time, workers in other industries have voiced pessimism about AI and job replacement, according to an American Staffing Association survey. About half of workers said automation could easily replace their job, particularly among those in industrial, engineering and administrative roles.
To grow buy-in for AI in the workplace, leaders can support transparency and foster trust among employees, according to a report from UKG. More than half of workers said they have “no idea” how their employer uses AI, but they said transparency would lead to greater happiness, trust, engagement, satisfaction and retention.