How your personality can affect your job satisfaction when working remotely

The office work environment has been completely altered recently for the vast majority of individuals. As we have entered a remote working environment, how does telework impact an individual’s job satisfaction? And how may personality play a role in that impact as well? In an article titled: Communication and Teleworking: A Study of Communication Channel Satisfaction, Personality, and Job Satisfaction for Teleworking Employees, Stephanie Smith et al. work to answer those questions.

What is important to note for this research is that the study conducted by Smith et al. was on teleworkers who also worked in a typical office setting. These study results should not be directly compared to work from home policies and work environment satisfaction that is associated with Covid-19.

Prior research on teleworkers and personality has resulted in mixed data. So, Smith et al. wanted to come up with standardized information looking at the Big-5 Personality traits and job satisfaction. In addition to overall job satisfaction for teleworkers, this study also looked at how different ways of remote communication, such as email, IM, phone calls, and video chat, may impact worker satisfaction.

The results of the study found that job satisfaction was positively correlated with agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. What was surprising to Smith et al, was that extroversion was also positively correlated with remote work satisfaction. It was previously suggested that due to the outgoing nature of extroverts, they would struggle more heavily with working remotely. The last of the Big-5 Personality traits, neuroticism, was neither positively nor negatively correlated with job satisfaction.

Individuals high in openness and agreeableness rated job satisfaction higher when video chats were incorporated with their work. There was not a significant difference in the other Big-5 Personalities and communication channels.

This study is highlighted to show that certain personalities may gravitate well towards telework and other forms of remote work. However, what is important to take away from this is that when it comes to working remotely, knowing one’s personality can help one figure out how to best function in their role and increase job satisfaction.

As coaches, helping your clients know themselves and their personalities can help with job satisfaction as they look at what communication channels and structure they may need to add or focus on for increasing job satisfaction.

If you would like to read the full article, you can access it here:

IOC's Tips of the Week are authored by Austin Matzelle