Many jobs now include some elements of remote work. Even if you primarily work face-to-face with colleagues, you likely have occasional Zoom calls, webinars, or just lengthy email threads with clients, customers, or collaborators you don’t see in person every day. 

This shift in how we communicate has pros and cons for each of us, and our temperaments help explain why. 

[Do you know your temperament already? See if the description below resonates for you. ]

Don’t know your temperament yet? This list could be a fascinating way to figure it out. Look for the description you most closely identify with. Or take the 40-question online quiz.]

For YELLOWS, remote work…

+ Is a pro when it allows them to spice up their days—maybe by working from a fun location or pausing tasks for an hour to take a kickboxing class. 

– Is a con when it leaves them feeling disconnected or left out. They crave acceptance, attention, and affection, which are all hard to get from the blank stares of colleagues on a Zoom call. 

For REDS, remote work… 

+ Is a pro when it unleashes their efficiency. They can move at their own (fast) pace when they aren’t hampered by impromptu conversations or in-office politics (like having to stick around until 5 p.m. even though they finished their tasks at 2.)

– Is a con when it hinders teamwork. They crave a sense of control that everyone is on task and on time to meet deadlines, which is often not the case when remote teammates work inconsistent or untraditional hours. 

For BLUES, remote work… 

+ Is a pro when it provides the space and silence they crave. Being able to work from the quiet of home instead of the chaos of cubicles is often a tremendous relief. 

– Is a con when it undermines deep connection. They look for trust, sensitivity, and support in their relationships, and those can be hard to build when most interactions with colleagues are digital.    

For GREENS, remote work… 

+ Is a pro when it provides flexibility and autonomy around their schedule. Taking their time getting rolling in the mornings or working on tasks at the last minute aren’t problematic when they control their workflow. 

– Is a con when it creates time stress. They crave chunks of time “off the clock” to rest and recharge, which can be tough to find when urgent emails and Slack messages creep beyond the boundaries of the workday. 

It can be fascinating to understand the ways your wiring might predict your own reaction to remote work, but it’s critical for managers to understand this information

Making remote work arrangements successful for your team likely requires different accommodations for each person. So if you’re a manager, take note!

YELLOW team members need regular doses of your undivided attention and eye contact, so have one-on-one meetings with your cameras on. Spend a few minutes chatting about things other than work to scratch their itch for social connection. 

RED team members value productivity, so clear obstacles from their path promptly. They’ll grow frustrated if slow email replies or time zone issues keep them from moving forward on projects. 

BLUE team members hold themselves to very high standards and may need your help figuring out when it’s time to consider their work “good enough” and move on. Consider using language like, “Give this an hour or two of your time” when assigning work so they can gauge how much effort you expect.  

GREEN team members may appear distracted or disengaged during video meetings but don’t mistake that for apathy. Even face-to-face they have a tough time showing enthusiasm or jumping into group discussions. Make a point of inviting them to contribute or share their opinion. 

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