There’s a slew of general advice about how to thrive as a remote worker. The issue is, not all remote workers are the same. Everyone has unique needs and preferences. If those aren’t taken into consideration, even the best, well-meaning recommendations may not produce results.
By understanding what type of remote worker you are, you can create a system that keeps you at your most productive. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s what you need to know.
Segmentor vs. Integrator
Wharton professor Nancy Rothbard took a hard look at the remote work paradigm and noted two categories of remote workers: segmentors and integrators. What stands apart in these groups is how separated or enmeshed work was in a person’s life and how it impacted their success.
With segmentors, there’s a need to keep the professional life separated from their personal one. For example, they may not be at their best working from a kitchen table while other family members buzz around. Instead, they might need a private home office to thrive.
Additionally, segmentors prefer well-defined work hours. They want to completely break away from their professional responsibilities at a specific time, giving them a level of reprieve.
Integrators, on the other hand, don’t mind a bit of blurriness. They may be perfectly comfortable working on a project while also assisting their children with school work. As a result, working from a semi-public space doesn’t bother them.
Further, integrators don’t mind answering after-hours emails or handling small tasks when the need arises. However, they may be inclined to allow incoming messages to distract them, affecting their overall focus.
Why Your Remote Worker Type Matters
By understanding what type of remote worker you are, you can cultivate an approach that works best for you. This increases the odds that you can remain productive, fulfilled, and happy.
Often, much of the advice you see for telecommuters applies more to one group than the other. For example, while a segmentor may need to set boundaries with their manager, integrators may not have that need. Similarly, integrators might benefit from time or project management solutions, helping them focus on the task-at-hand instead of being distracted by incoming messages.
It’s important to note that neither type is better than the other. Both thrive in some situations and struggle in others. The same can be said for a ton of characteristics, such as being an introvert or extrovert. There are benefits and challenges on both sides of the equation. But by understanding where you fall, you can make changes that ensure you’ll exceed expectations at work.
Ultimately, your remote work type plays a big role in what you need to excel professionally. That’s why understanding which category fits you is vital. It ensures that you can identify which best practices will align with your needs and which advice pieces aren’t a great fit. Then, you can embrace the approaches that genuinely make a difference for you professionally.
If you’d like to learn more, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today?