W Power 2024

From detective to problem solver, what's your workplace persona?

Slack surveyed more than 15,000 office workers around the world to identify their behavioural competencies (the famous "soft skills") and the way they behave at work

Published: Nov 14, 2023 05:18:11 PM IST
Updated: Nov 14, 2023 05:22:59 PM IST

From detective to problem solver, what's your workplace persona?Personality tests can be a useful starting point for thinking about yourself and your behavior in the workplace. Personality tests can be a useful starting point for thinking about yourself and your behavior in the workplace. Image: Shutterstock

All kinds of psychometric tests enable employees to assess themselves by taking 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.

The professional messaging service Slack surveyed more than 15,000 office workers around the world to identify their behavioral competencies (the famous "soft skills") and the way they behave at work. It discovered that there are five typical worker profiles. These are detectives, road warriors, networkers, problem solvers and expressionists.

The most common profile among the workers surveyed by Slack was that of the detective, accounting for 30% of respondents. Detectives are employees who know a lot about what's going on in their company. They are constantly seeking to acquire new knowledge to better help their colleagues. They describe themselves as organized 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 UK (34%), the USA and Germany (both 33%). They are much rarer in Singapore (21%) and India (16%), which could be explained by the fact that the workforce in these two countries is younger than that of more industrialized economies. Since detectives like to be in the know, they prefer to work face-to-face. Over 20% are opposed to full-time remote working—an opinion they share with networkers.

Networkers have the same taste for knowledge as detectives. But they place even greater emphasis than detectives 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% vs. 30% for all respondents). 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, USA, Germany and Australia have large numbers of networkers in their workforces, unlike Japan and South Korea.

Also read: Research pinpoints the role of personality in sharing of 'fake news'

AI for some, emojis for others

Another workplace persona highlighted in the research is that of the road warrior. This rather obscure name refers to professionals who like to have the freedom to work from different locations and at different times. They particularly appreciate flexibility and autonomy. 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 at all costs. They have an aversion to repetitive tasks, and seek to avoid them at all costs. That's why they often turn to new technologies to be more productive, and especially to artificial intelligence. Three quarters of the problem solvers surveyed are enthusiastic about recent advances in AI, compared with 42% of the panel of respondents. Unsurprisingly, this is particularly the case in technophile nations such as India (23%), South Korea (22%), Japan and Singapore (both 20%).

Expressionists, too, have a keen interest in artificial intelligence, 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%). They are rarer in the UK (7%), France (7%) and Germany (6%). Generally speaking, expressionists account for only 10% of the working population.

However, these results 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 organize your tasks, how you concentrate, and what role emotions play in your life. However, their results are based on tendencies or trends, which means that there are no good or bad profiles. These tests can, however, give an indication of the kind of professional environment in which you will be able to make the most of your skills.

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