How to Keep your Team Motivated and Growing during Remote Work?

Rick Beaton  •  Published on Apr 6, 2020  •  12 min read

The new reality of working remotely from home can be agonizing to some and a joyous wonderland to others. Who can disagree that yoga pants help stretch our creativity? Or that ice cream by the pint makes project management go smoother? For some of us, this remote work is filled with anxiety and we’re looking for all the ways to trade in our home office for the chatter of an open workspace.

Remote Work as the New Normal

As the workforce looks at new ways of working, there comes a time when we also need better ways of understanding each other. A personality assessment called the Big 5 has been developed by academics and used for years. Receiving much scientific and research attention, the Big 5 Personality assessment is highly effective and accurate at assessing people’s personalities, which gives us a glimpse into the hardwired traits that make us who we are and determine how we act towards our closest friends, family members, and coworkers. The Big 5 Personality Assessment is a great starting point for organizations to better understand how employees and teams are responding to remote work, and what’s the best way to guide them towards productivity and career success.

The saying goes, a person is truly one’s self when they are out in the ocean. Despite our evolutionary love of the ocean, the OCEAN I’m talking about are the five traits of personalities that are rooted in how someone perceives, interprets and experiences the world around us. O is for Originality, C for Consolidation, E for Extraversion, A for Accommodation, and N for the Need for Stability. Let’s take a look at each of these traits to uncover the insights about our personalities.

The O Dimension: Originality

Where do you place yourself on this dimension?

Implementer

You are well grounded in the existing realities. You value tradition, pragmatism, stability, and efficiency. You are a doer and enjoy see the results of your efforts. You prefer to rely on existing templates and plans.

Translator

You are particularly good at getting ideas translated into action. You enjoy developing systems and processes. You value continuous quality improvement.

Innovator

You are an idea generator. You enjoy thinking outside of the box to imagine alternative possibilities. Strategic planning, solving complex novel problems and visioning come naturally to you. You enjoy change and innovation.

How you’re Experiencing Remote Work:

Implementer

You may find the disruption at work uncomfortable and distracting to your routine.

Translator

You may have days you are embracing of the rapid changes and other days you wish there was an established system to follow.

Innovator

You may be enjoying the rapidly changing pace of work and thinking of new ways to make this experience better.

Tips to be more Productive & Motivated

Implementer

Anchor yourself in ways that are productive and familiar. Establish a new routine around those anchors so that disruptions in work are more manageable. Communicate the ways you anchor your productivity with your team and manager.

Translator

Create a process for yourself to stay organized. Share your process with your team members and get their feedback to adjust your process. Balance yourself so that you're not overwhelmed by too much disruption.

Innovator

Your new ideas may offer ways to find new normalcy of remote work. Be aware that others may value stability over innovation. Working with them may help translate your ideas into new systems.

The C Dimension: Consolidation

Where do you place yourself on this dimension?

Flexible

You are spontaneous, reactive, and nimble in your approach to work. You are able to easily adapt to the needs that arise.  You are likely to prioritize your lifestyle and relationships over work. You may prefer a more casual work environment.

Balanced

You enjoy a balance of work and lifestyle. You tend to be moderate in your approach to work.

Focused

You are disciplined, dedicated, driven and internally structured. You like organization and planning.  You may prefer a more formal work environment.

How you’re Experiencing Remote Work:

Flexible

You may be enjoying the casual and comfy PJ pants as work outfit. Being able to stay at home and prioritize your lifestyle during this time may feel encouraging and liberating.

Balanced

You may find some days are easier than others to balance work and your To Do’s at home.

Focused

You may be looking for ways to create a structure and formalize your work routine at home.

Tips to be more Productive & Motivated

Flexible

Make sure you are communicating your deliverables and deadlines clearly with the team. This can help you be more productive instead of continuously adapting to many new needs that arise constantly.

Balanced

Set a clear schedule for the day so you know when you’ll be focused on work and home. This way you won’t feel guilty shifting from one priority to another.

Focused

Create a dedicated space in your home that is for your work. Dress up for work and create a clear schedule you abide by.

The E Dimension: Extraversion

Where do you place yourself on this dimension?

Introvert

You prefer to work in quiet conditions with controlled stimulation. Too much sensory stimulation (such as noise) tends to drain your energy. You find you do your best work on your own or in one to one setting. Too much group work or meetings will wear you out.

Ambivert

You like a balance of quiet and stimulation in your work environment. Flexibility in where and how you work will bring out your best. At times, you want to work on your own in quiet settings, but you also enjoy being around people.

Extravert

You prefer to work in a stimulating and energetic environment. You tend to prefer working with others for a good portion of your week.

How you’re Experiencing Remote Work:

Introvert

If your workspace at home is quiet compared to the open concept office space, you are loving this new set up.

If your workspace at home is loud and filled with stimulations, you may find yourself less productive than usual.

Ambivert

You may have days where you need noise or other stimulation to keep your focus at work. Other days, the quiet workspace may have you be very productive.

Extravert

If your workspace is quiet at home, you may find them not productive and even anxious to get some noise and chatter in the space.

Tips to be more Productive & Motivated

Introvert

Create a quiet space for your work and make sure you create space in your schedule to do quiet work on your own. Constantly incoming chats and video conference calls could end up draining you. Build in your quiet work time into your schedule and communicate them to your team.

Ambivert

Pay attention to when you've had too much stimulation. Alternate your busy time with some quiet time. Know when to take a break if you've had several meetings in a row. Alternatively, if you've had a day alone, find opportunities to get more stimulation.

Extravert

Create an energetic working space by adding music or some background noise to your workspace. Kick start your days with a video call with your team or supervisor so you start the day with productive stimulation.

The A Dimension: Accommodation

Where do you place yourself on this dimension?

Challenger

You are typically confident and assertive with a clear agenda and well-articulated opinions and positions. You are quick to speak your mind, and don't hold back from competition and debate.

Negotiator

You can be comfortable either in a leadership or a support position. You enjoy finding the win-win solutions where everyone gets what they need. In conflict situations, you prefer to find resolution.

Harmonizer

You prefer to be a team player and enjoy support roles. You tend to be reserved when it comes to expressing yourself. You may prefer to hear where others stand before formulating your own perspective. You dislike conflict and will often go along with others rather than making waves.

How you’re Experiencing Remote Work:

Challenger

Perhaps remote work isn't what you envisioned for your daily routine. If it's not suiting you, you'll feel the need to speak up to make changes that are more preferable to your work style.

Negotiator

Regardless of how remote work suits you, you're focused on making it work for everyone on the team. You're communicating openly and actively looking for how to make the best of the situation.

Harmonizer

You're listening to how remote work is affecting your team. You're looking for ways to make the best of it. You're supportive of how the team is adjusting to remote work.

Tips to be more Productive & Motivated

Challenger

Look for innovative ways to alleviate remote work challenges for the rest of your team. You'll want to challenge the status quo in ways that others might not see. Use this to your team's advantage as you might spot opportunities to leverage during this challenging time.

Negotiator

Remote work will fuel your natural ability to be independent. Mixed with brief check-ins with your team, the distance that remote work presents will keep distractions at arm's length. Use this time to get a lot done.

Harmonizer

Use the distance presented during remote work to observe and listen to your team. This will give you a better understanding of how to best collaborate with them.

The N Dimension: Need for Stability

Where do you place yourself on this dimension?

Resilient

You are a stress minimizer who tends to stay calm and rational in the face of difficulties. You tend to stay focused on positive outcomes.

Responsive

You are average when it comes to stress sensitivity. You may need a moment shortly after a crisis before resuming regular activities.

Reactive

You are more sensitive to stress than the average person. You are quick to perceive difficulties and will often worry. This sensitivity means that you are often the first person in a team to be aware of existing or pending problems.

How you’re Experiencing Remote Work:

Resilient

You may enter the thought about what all these changes mean to your work but then quickly shift to focusing on the positive outcomes of these changes.

Responsive

There are days you are able to stay focused on work and other days where you are more sensitive to what all these changes mean for your work.

Reactive

You may be flooded with thoughts and worry about what all these changes mean for your work and family. These thoughts may be disruptive and reduce your productivity at work.

Tips to be more Productive & Motivated

Resilient

Your optimism and focus on positive outcome can be the energy your team needs at the moment. Be aware of not brushing off the concerns of your fellow reactive team members. Take some time to listen and acknowledge their concerns.

Responsive

Because of the current situation, there could be many changes that occur. Don't let things sway you to be too dismissive or too worried. Being mindful and balanced with situations will allow you to stay agile.

Reactive

Communicate your concerns and create a short-term plan with your team. Because you have the ability to see problems before they arise, you'll be able to prevent issues from happening. Create action plans that allow you to move quickly and stay organized.

Use the Hardwiring to Your Advantage

Our personalities are core to our ways of being and existing in the world. Understanding how and why we respond to remote work in the context of the Big 5 gives us a way to describe complex topics with clarity. The Big 5 Personality Assessment is a great tool to help organizations work remotely because it gives information about how each employee can work more effectively in rapidly changing times.

We hope this offers insight into how people are adjusting to remote work. Motis has been thinking about workplace culture, career development and people for a long time. Motis has been consulting organizations on how to use the Big 5 Personality Assessment to accelerate upskilling and career development for their workforce. And we’re pioneering a new cloud-based app called Motis Grow.

If you’re interested in career development and upskilling for yourself and your organization, reach out to us and we’d be happy to talk to you about Motis Grow or our consulting practice.

Transform the way your organization grows.

Subscribe to the Motis Newsletter

Get the latest insights about workforce upskilling, career development and organizational success.

© Copyright 2020 Motis People. All rights reserved.