While everyone can work remotely, it takes a truly unique personality to shine in this type of environment. The Myers-Briggs personality assessment classifies people into 4 pairs of categories; Introverts vs. Extroverts, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling and Judging vs. Perceiving. According to the Myers-Briggs, all personalities are equal, but each type differs in the workplace. When hiring remote developers, employers look beyond the résumé to choose the best attitude and personality that will go above and beyond to get the job done. So, before you apply to remote jobs, find out whether or not remote work is suitable to your personality type and how to cope with different personalities you encounter in the remote world:
1- Introvert vs. extrovert
Introvert: Thrives in smaller groups, organized, likes to think things thoroughly before taking actions.
How to excel in a remote environment: As an introvert remote developer, you will be more comfortable with scheduled meetings and limited social interactions. Remote working can offer the perfect environment for you that provokes creativity and ideas, so enjoy the solitude you have throughout the day, but don’t forget to make yourself visible by communicating regularly with the rest of your team.
Extrovert: Talkative, impulsive, thrives in larger groups and in collaborative environments.
How to excel in a remote environment: There’s a common misconception that introverts are more suited to remote working than extroverts. In fact, it doesn't matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert as long as you can communicate effectively with your colleagues. While project management and communication tools can help you stay connected to your remote team, you still need the social activity that will boost your energy. Communicate more often by conducting weekly or even daily virtual brainstorming sessions with colleagues, or organize a monthly gathering with your team when everyone is physically present. Also, working from a co-working space will make you feel part of a wider community and will definitely make remote work more appealing to you.
2. Sensing vs. Intuition
Sensing: Responsible, detailed, and efficient. You are factual, and you are more likely to be a visual learner.
Ensure that your communication is clear with other remote teams. When you’re given a new project, ask about the details and facts that will help you move forward such as; project deadline, data, measurement tools and etc.
Intuition: Driven by your gut and inclined to focus on the big picture. You like to brainstorm and play with ideas.
Remote work is an enjoyable challenge for you. You will turn the instructions into creative and new solutions. When you’re given a new project, ask about the ultimate goals and the milestones of the projects, then about the facts.
3. Thinking vs. feeling
Thinking: Task-oriented, fair, prefers results over process, and logical.
Thinker personality types prefer the brevity and straightforwardness of communication. Therefore, when most of your communication is done in writing, there’s a likelihood to be misunderstood. You have to be explicit with your remote team about every decision you make. Always explain the “why” of every project, especially if you’re working with an “intuitive” personality. Remote working can work for you, but it’s important to stay engaged with your remote team and don’t miss out on getting to know your team personally.
Feeling: Values face-to-face communication, recognition, and feedback, emotional.
When face to face communication is absent, you need to find alternative ways to keep your spirits up. Initiate video calls with your team to get the vibes you need from physical interaction. As a remote employee, you’re the most caring and supportive colleague. You take your team’s opinions into consideration and like to praise their accomplishments. Despite the distance, you are the one who reaches out for a colleague when they need help.
What you need to develop is your analytical thinking. Therefore, collaborating with the “thinker” personality type is a win-win situation for both of you.
4. Judging vs. Perceiving
Judging: Organized, likes to make lists of things to do, bringing closure to their tasks.
Remote work is a piece of cake for you. You won’t struggle much with deadlines and virtual communication as you will figure out the best way to organize your busy day. However, don’t rush into making decisions. Consider all options before bringing closure to the matter.
Perceiving: Spontaneous, adaptable to new experiences, prefer to study all options before taking a decision.
You’ll adapt to the remote working structure more easily than your co-workers, and you’ll enjoy the flexibility it gives you. However, remote work could be tough for you when it comes to deadlines. Putting off your tasks until the last minute is your biggest drawback, especially when there’s no one watching over you. That’s why you need to work on your self-discipline to avoid falling behind schedules. If you spotted a “perceiver” in your team, delegate tasks that require innovation and creativity to them.
Other than the Myers & Briggs personality pairs, there are common traits that you should have as a remote developer.
“With remote work, there isn’t someone right next to you guiding you along the way and making sure you are working. When you are by yourself, you have the opportunity to do great work or just slide by with the minimum.” Brian Patterson- Co-founder of, “Go Fish Digital”
To test your self-discipline simply ask yourself; what do you do when you something goes wrong at work? Do you just sit and wait? Self-discipline is all about understanding that you don’t need a boss watching over your shoulder to get things done. The best remote employee has a self-starter mentality and takes responsibility for their actions.
6. Growth mindset vs. Fixed mindset
Lastly, having a growth mindset is an essential element in your personality. Psychologist Carol S. Dweck, explains that those with a fixed mindset worry about being adequate, therefore, they avoid challenges and hence they limit themselves and their potentials. With a fixed mindset, you won’t be able to embrace the agile future of work and grow personally and professionally.
On the other hand, those who possess a growth mindset adopt a positive view. They embrace failure because it’s the only way towards developing their skills. With a growth mindset, a remote developer can invent new solutions, try different learning techniques which result in mutual benefits for them and their organizations and finally they are ready to embrace the ever-growing technology and future of work.
Some personality types will flourish in a remote environment, while others will have to work hard to build the structure they need. You can make remote working work for you if you understand where you and others fit on the scale. Working remotely gives you the luxury to choose where, when and how you work so leverage it by adjusting your work structure to fit your personality type.