Years ago, the office environment was often seen as this formal and uptight space for efficient production. That was before employers started to find ways to motivate their employees and boost their morales in a bid to make them more productive. The current office model space is now filled up with game spots, cool corners, and a more casual-smart dress sense – anything to make it feel informal.
Every day, new innovations are being introduced to take the formal stress off this new office environment. Recently, a Japanese company started paying more money to staff who get a full night’s rest in a bid to encourage higher productivity at work, as it’s been discovered that stress and pressure are not welcome at firms.
Regardless of the constant tweaking this atmosphere and environment, one thing remains constant: THE PEOPLE. A company’s size could range from 2 friends to 100 people depending on how large the organization is. These are often different people from different backgrounds with different personalities that all need to be managed. Research from Gatlin, Wysocki, and Kepner suggests that these differences can lead to challenges in the workplace if they aren’t appropriately addressed.
“Problems can occur over the way that people prefer to accomplish tasks or interact with one another. For example, some workers may prefer not socializing or distractions during certain hours and keep their office door shut while others may see this as unfriendly or even rude behavior.”
Honestly, no matter how friendly an office environment is, the best way to get productivity out of its staff is to identify and manage the various office personalities. Now, I’m going to identify 5 types of personalities you can easily recognize in any office anywhere and how to manage them!
1. The Solo Artist
You might see the solo Artist eating alone during lunch breaks, but you rarely see them hanging out by the water cooler, gossiping with other employees. Their work is well-executed; they’re simply not the type to engage socially or to volunteer to lead team projects. They are often alone when they come to work, they say good morning, go straight to their desk, do their job and go home. They could be friendly but most times their not. They never get personal as being official is the only path they know. Best to leave them to their world most times if you ask me.
2. The Master of excuses
Just like the name suggests, this personality always has an excuse for everything. This Master of excuses has an uncanny ability to disappear whenever they’re not needed and even sometimes when they are. They’re always prepared with an excuse for their behavior—they seem to run into an unusual number of traffic jams, call in sick almost all the time, have a variety of dying uncles, etc. They never run out of excuses as to why they are failing at their job.
3. The Friend of Management.
How do we describe the management’s friend—often called by less appropriate names elsewhere? To put it in the easiest way to understand: “Upper management loves them and employees hate them”. They tend to be the “I too know” or probably the office snitch but an ally you might actually want to keep on your side in case thing goes south. You can get firsthand information from them but never forget that their loyalty will always be to the “realm” and not to you. They could throw you under the bus if the going gets tough around their corner, so be careful.
4. Everybody’s Best Friend
Everybody’s Best Friend is a true extrovert. Prone to office gossip, you’ll find this employee hanging out in the break room, stopping by other people’s desks—basically, anywhere that doesn’t involve attending to their own work. They are easily everyone’s favorite or go-to person. Most times, they are the most welcoming person to new employees. It is important to have this kind of person as a friend as they provide useful information on other personalities for you.
5. Always Grumpy, Always Angry
The grumpy personality is often the complainer, always dissatisfied with everything and every policy of the organization. Always the first to object to rules or ideas without having a better solution. Quick to anger and often in everyone’s bad book. When you see the grumper, as I call them, they are always complaining about one thing or the other. Often egocentric and narcissistic, they never admit to being wrong or making an error but are quick to point out the flaws in others.
These five personalities are always in every office or organization no matter how big or small. The key to getting them productive is learning how to work with them, identifying and managing the flaws and strengths of these personalities as they each add spice to the workflow one way or the other.