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Working remotely and the impact on your people

by Brent W. Hubby, on Mar 27, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Everyone handles life changes differently. New pressures may draw team members to experience frustration and anxiety—negatively impacting an individual's and teams’ productivity. 

Based on research conducted by PDP, the following is a summary of the behaviors that individuals have shown to exhibit during times of pressure. Understanding these styles can prove to be helpful in addressing and maintaining your teams' effectiveness.

Complete the Working Remotely Survey to receive information on Actions to Take for managing back-up styles.

The PDP ProScan Survey measures four primary behavioral traits: Dominance (the take-charge trait), Extroversion (the people trait), Pace (the patience trait) and Conformity (the systems trait). Everyone has a mix of these behavioral traits with the highest of the four being a key driver of their behavior. Here is each trait's back-up style.

Back-up Styles

  • Associates with High Dominance can get frustrated that projects are stalling and not moving forward. Perhaps people are not responding to calls while the High Dominance individual is trying to move things forward. If proper resources are not available for working remotely, frustration will compound to a point of exploding with demands and threats. Think of high dominance business owners that are preoccupied with receiving no orders or having to close their business due to being deemed non-essential. This feeling of losing or having no control will drive their back-up style of dictatorial steamroller. They are trying to gain, regain or maintain control of the situation so allow them to let off steam, cool down and get refocused. Don’t take it personally.
  • Associates with High Extroversion will initially find the change of not going into the office as new and exciting but over time, they can get lonely and down. The reduction of in-office social interactions or meeting with customers will wear on them and lower their energy levels as they are missing out on being lifted up and encouraged by people. If they are not included in discussions, feel questioned about their actions or credibility, or are not appreciated or valued, be ready for the back-up style of verbal attack to appear, where they need to express and defend how they are feeling. Let the words fly and settle down, then suggest reconnecting after you have had a chance to think about the statement made.
  • Associates with High Pace can get frustrated with not having the security and predictability of an office routine and the environment where tools and information are readily available. Treating everyone with the same level of fairness will grow even more important to them as they try to figure out a routine for working remotely. Should inconsistencies or the tempers of others arise, their backup style to avoid conflict so as to not make a scene will make it appear like they are okay with the changes, but can ultimately result in them internalizing their feelings, withdrawing and, in an extreme reaction, bogging down progress and production.
  • Associates with High Conformity will be worried about the situation of both the world and the organization. They can get frustrated with trying to follow traditional rules while also trying to understand and learn any new remote-working rules. Questioning their actions can be taken as criticism and most likely will result in protecting themselves by burying others with the facts and pulling back from doing new tasks for fear of doing them incorrectly.

Perhaps you have seen the above scenarios in action already or have additional ones to share. We would love to hear what you are experiencing.

Complete the Working Remotely Survey to receive a follow-up email containing Actions to Take to navigate and manage your valuable human capital during this time of uncertainty.

Topics:Working Remote


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