Are You Meant to Be a Virtual Worker?

Time for a little self analysis. Where do you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale? Do you hunker down in your cubicle with your back to the entrance, or do you hang out by the coffee pot and spend all morning exchanging the latest bits of news? Which personality type would you assume is better suited to joining the virtual workforce and telecommuting from home or the road? If you say the introverts, you’re wrong.

Virtual WorkerBucking conventional wisdom, a study reported in BusinessWeek says it’s actually the extroverts who make the best unmoored workers.

… it’s the employees who chase socialization who thrive in the land of virtual work. The office gabbers. Those who are life of the break-room party. Left on their own, these types of workers are the ones who work closely with clients, chum around with colleagues, and talk it up with bosses. They stay connected no matter where they are. It comes naturally to them. (The researchers) also assumed that mobile workers would tend to be seat-of-the-pants types who could get away with being disorganized scatterbrains. After all, nobody ever had to see their "offices." Again, the truth turned out to be the opposite. Mobile workers are far more organized, personally, than their office-bound counterparts. They have to be on top of their game the whole time.

In the final analysis, it’s the shy and disorganized types who should have a seat in the office, where they can get encouragement and support. It’s the Type-A extroverts who should be free to fly.

— Don Willmott

5 Responses to “Are You Meant to Be a Virtual Worker?”

  1. Really? I like how “shy” and “disorganized” are lumped together, as if there is something wrong with being introverted. From what I’ve seen, introverts are probably more organized and on task than the loud-mouthed gabbers who spend their day disrupting their co-workers.

  2. Patrick

    Your reply is very typical of introverts who hide in their cubicles…mean spirited. It is really had to get a sense of how introverts think or feel especially after trying to say hello a million times with now response the average extrovert gives up. I for one would never assign one to work from home or virtually, ever

    Sitting in your cubilce without interacting with others is one person that you cannot rely on to have good communicating skills to work at home or virtually.. I totally agree with the findings on this topic

  3. Richard

    What a nonsense article. Being able to successfully work from home depends solely upon ones drive to do a good, honest days work. has nothing whatsoever to do with extrovert vs introvert. What an idiot.

  4. Spot on, Richard.

    I’m a software developer (fairly typical introvert) and produce far and away better at home than in my cube…however, my sister, the family chatterbox and a marketing VIP is a perfect carbon copy of the person described in the article–and also does very well unleashed.

    Garbage journalism.

    (and, man, do I ever hope Patrick is not in a supervisory position!)