It should come as no surprise that the workplace is filled with different personality types – all of which have different reactions to embracing new technologies.
Businesses that recognize, understand, and appreciate these differences are more likely to cultivate workplace cultures that empower employees, according to Slack, a cloud-based messaging platform that generated US$533.2 million in revenue in 2023.
In a joint survey with YouGov, Slack explored the different workplace personalities of 15,000 desk workers from across the globe, concluding that there were five specific personality types:
- The Detective (30%): Investigative, naturally curious, and outcome-driven.
- The Road Warrior (22%): Outgoing, affable, and adaptable to working from different locations.
- The Networker (22%): Collaborative conversationalists who are typically extroverted.
- The Problem Solver (16%): Masters of automation and efficiency.
- The Expressionist (10%): Visual communication specialists.
Most teams have a mixture of these personality types, making it paramount for managers and leaders to understand the best ways they can communicate, while also learning how they feel about technology and the best way it can be implemented.
“At work, it’s imperative that we collaborate effectively, both on an individual and organizational level,” business psychologist, Dr Lynda Shaw says. “To do this, we first need to have an appreciation of the different personality types in the workplace, who each have their own strengths and preferences for the way they work.
“It’s important to be open-minded to different working styles, especially when they differ from our own. As businesses continue to deploy AI and increasingly automate tasks, giving people the opportunity to express themselves and create meaningful connections – the people that bring a sense of joy and fun to the work environment – whilst continuing to deliver results will be increasingly valued.”
Using personality types to leverage technology and AI
Currently, roughly a quarter of workers have used AI in the workplace, with the highest usage being in India (54%) and Singapore (34%).
In the future, this figure is expected to increase to 58%.
The way in which employees adopt and adapt to new technologies varies greatly depending on the different workplace personalities, as well as the individual’s age and style of work. For example, managers and those in younger generations were typically found to be to have a more positive outlook on new tech in the workplace.
In fact, 37% of those surveyed expressed excitement around AI with 32% believing it will increase productivity. Only 14% reported feeling anxious about new tech and 8% felt it would make them less productive and had fears that it would be hard to learn.
What’s more, employees with different personality types across the globe were found to use technology and AI for several different reasons. For example, a ‘detective’ in the UK reported using AI for workflow routing, a German ‘expressionist’ used it to summarize longer texts, and a US ‘problem solver’ used ChatGPT as a tie-breaker on decisions.
Chris Mills, Slack’s Head of Customer Success EMEA, says: “Recognizing, understanding and appreciating the differences that each of us bring to our working style enables businesses to offer their employees the most empowering work environment – and that includes having the right technology to suit their preferences.
“Some people will need tools that enable them to have quick, spontaneous conversations with colleagues, while others will be keen to leverage AI to reduce repetitive tasks and create efficiencies.
“Giving employees multidimensional tools that cater to these different preferences is vital and ultimately leads to a happier team and better business outcomes.”
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