The Seven Types of Remote Colleagues

A guide on how you could help your teammates adjust to the new normal!

This pandemic has introduced most of us to the reality of remote work. As we closed our doors and quarantined, our homes became our offices. The first few weeks felt liberating; the satisfaction of abandoning our cubicles for our bedrooms, wearing casual clothes to important online meetings, and not having to worry about the overlooking eye of a supervisor.

As time passed, though, liberation began feeling more like isolation. Missing the quiet sounds of an office, the company of your favorite colleagues, and the shared ambiance of starting another Monday. In a survey conducted by, half of the 2,400 participants missed the routine of being in their office when working from home. Almost 30% suffered from loneliness and anxiety caused by the separation from their teams.

Chances are that remote work will continue to be normalized, even in a post-pandemic world. So, how exactly can you feel close to someone who is a screen away? Is it even possible to keep a connection through the virtual world? Undoubtedly, company culture includes knowing who you work with; part of the professionalism is taking the initiative to learn the names and making the effort to shake the hands.

Taking the time to identify the key personas of our remote colleagues would allow us to build better internal relationships with the people that we essentially rely on and collaborate with. Below are seven types of remote workers that you might meet, as well as communication techniques you could use to make the remote working style feel like a welcoming and worthwhile experience despite the absence of physical interaction.


The Natural

Just as their name suggests, the transition to remote work comes naturally to this group of people. There is no noticeable shift in their mood or work ethic when working remotely. You watch The Natural thrive in the virtual setting of a workplace and are almost envious of their ability to adapt so easily. They are persistent in their work ethic.

They are persistent in their work ethic and their productivity continues to impress, which makes them an absolute pleasure to work with. There is no question about their job satisfaction, as they make it apparent that they remain as focused as they would be in an in-office work setting.


What they need from you:

The Natural may not need as much assistance as their colleagues to find the motivation to stay efficient. Even so, to ensure that they keep the pace, ask them what resources they need to optimize their processes! Their feedback could even help you identify flaws in tools or resources your team may need. Any piece of advice or insight from The Natural or be used to create a finer virtual employee experience.


The Hybrid

The Hybrid does not have a bias between the remote work style or the traditional in-office work style. This group is thought to consist of people with shifting preferences who find comfort in the change of scenery. Rather than tying themselves down to one thing, they are able to find focus in either setting. The thought of only spending their time in their cubicle or home office could potentially stifle them.


What they need from you:

In their case, conducting a monthly meeting to encourage The Hybrid to find their preferred mix of working styles would be ideal. A schedule that appeals to their flexible working style could bring positive change in their work ethic because their drive relies on their comfort. The same routine, over and over again every month, might discourage them.

To avoid an indifference towards their tasks, suggest experimental schedules that consist of periods that allow for both the remote and in-office work style. This would keep them on their feet and give them something more to look forward to. Come to a mutual agreement on a work schedule that would encourage The Hybrid to embrace their full potential, no matter the workspace.


The Beginner

Despite being a professional in their field, The Beginner is new to the idea of remote work. When the idea is first introduced to them, their emotions might get the best of them as they contemplate the perks of a remote working style. The change in scenery gives them the motivation to think of it as a chance to feel brand new, but that feeling is bound to wear off, and quicker than they may even expect.

Their idealism is likely to be interrupted by the reality of remote work, such as the lack of a strict schedule compared to their usual 9–5, and the lack of determination that could come with being surrounded by children or spouses while at home. It may be difficult to gauge how The Beginner is adjusting to the new setting, or whether they need help in coping through the tough time.


What they need from you:

Don’t hesitate to occasionally check in with The Beginner. Practice open communication as you begin to notice them facing the common challenges of remote work. Honest conversations about their strengths and weaknesses throughout the transition would allow for you to identify what they might need to make it more of a comfortable experience, or adapting better to the circumstances.

As you have these honest conversations, it is also important to reassure them that the fatigue they may feel from remote work is normal and understandable. Consider partnering them with a colleague like The Natural that could share coping mechanisms or exchange different resources that allow for The Beginner to feel less overwhelmed.


The Enthusiast

It’s safe to say that everyone is secretly jealous of The Enthusiast because their battery always seems to be full and their energy always seems to be high. They are the hardest working colleague that you know, and they are known to go through their to-do list even sooner than usual when they work remotely. You may even notice them working overtime because they are to call it a day.

They think of productivity as high output and without that, they may go into panic mode, assuming that the team is not working at all. They believe that their presence plays an important part in ensuring that work gets done exactly how it should be, causing them to be at their desk more than anyone else. Eventually, this leads to one of the worst feelings in the world: burnout!


What they need from you:

The Enthusiast might have the tendency to define their entire worth based on their productivity, which explains the constant need to perform at their best. To comfort these perfectionist-types, reassure them of their value to the team through regular contacts. A lack of verbal appreciation leaves space for doubt to manifest itself if their performance isn’t praised every now and then.

You could also help match goals to their tasks so that they can relate their work to the company’s mission. Hence, their workflow contributes to all the necessary causes. Ensuring that their time is spent based on the priority of assignments will show that their contributions make a relevant difference and that their energy isn’t focused on idle tasks.


The Independent Act

Whether it be in the office or at home, this group is considered to be the most self-reliant. The Independent Act thrives in solo projects, and often feels as though collaborative work limits their potential. They are a one-man team that often believes that their best work is produced by themselves.

Despite this, they can typically be trusted to meet expectations, despite working by themselves. Leaders rarely worry about them falling behind. The only downside is that their preference for siloed work might leave an empty space in the creative discoveries that come from group brainstorming.


What they need from you:

They may seem like they have it all handled, but just like most colleagues, The Independent Act is likely to face challenges. Their hands are bound to be full, and their biggest obstacle may be communication, considering their preference for being a one-man team. They might be more hesitant in expressing their concerns or sharing their struggles when they are feeling burdened

Reassure them that their work is valued, and their input is respected by other colleagues! Make it known that they are encouraged to voice any concern, and that there is no shame in reaching out when things get out of hand. You could even ease them into the idea of working alongside their colleagues by encouraging them to bring other teammates onboard for a broader perspective.


The Introvert

The Introvert is happiest when working remotely. Contrary to popular belief, they do not think of being around other people as a nuisance! They would simply rather be left to do their work by themselves because they find comfort in their own company. The news of working remotely is most probably followed by a sigh of relief because they believe that they are most productive when no longer faced with social pressure.

The thought of being surrounded by groups or participating in social events usually drains their energy, so they feel most comfortable in their own space. However, because of lesser face-time with the rest of their team, it’s easy for them to feel disconnected and be forgotten. They might accidentally be left out of schedules because of their silent presence, and some might even make the assumption that the Introvert would rather not be involved.


What they need from you:

To encourage The Introvert to come out of their shell, learn their communication preferences! Include a variety of communication tools such as JANDI, Zoom video calls, open Q&As, and more. The key is to find the perfect balance of not invading their personal space but also making them feel included in social circles. You could do this by, from time to time, introducing the idea of working with a teammate to keep them connected.


The Social Butterfly

On the opposite side of the spectrum, The Social Butterfly thrives on the idea of being around like-minded people. Being in social environments with opportunities to interact keeps them sane, and so this group craves socializing more than others because being around such energy keeps them motivated.

They are usually regarded as the “life of the party”, and have the reputation of being the go-to person to organize group activities because they can be trusted to hype up the mood. Due to this desire to stay social, their morale often deteriorates in a remote working style and causes them to believe that opportunities are being missed when there is less of a chance to make use of their social skills.


What they need from you:

Odds are that the Social Butterfly may struggle with a remote working style. It is a big shift from their preferred working environment that allows for face-to-face conversations instead of virtual ones. Offering resources such as JANDI, Miro, and more so there are a variety of outlets for communication and collaboration might keep them feeling busy and surrounded by similar energy, to encourage brainstorming and avoid creative blocks.

You could also leverage their talent and get their help with organizing virtual team activities after working hours. Contributing to these social events creating an environment where they could embrace their extroverted energy might reassure them of their capabilities, and make them feel just as productive as they would have in the office.



To say it in simpler words: working from home shouldn’t be impersonalized because you no longer see your colleagues five times a week. Give your team the space to adjust to the new normal, but make it known that you are a few clicks away if they need a company in these trying times.

Gain a better understanding of their personality type to build a bond that allows for comfortable conversation, and the sought-after synergy will come with it! In fact, take the time to understand your own work ethic, and what you need from your team to be the best version of yourself while at work. What is your personality type? Tell us in the comments, especially if it hasn’t already been listed amongst these seven!



Interested in some of the tools mentioned in this article? Contact our country representative today to get a personalized walkthrough on how JANDI can help your organization!


This blog content was taken from the Microsoft eBook, “Six Types of Remote Workers and How To Support Them”.


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