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  • Writer's pictureBenoit Hardy-Vallée

On Personality and Distributed Work (S01E01)

Updated: May 4, 2020

A conversation with Laura Hambley from Work EvOHlution.

In our first episode, Dr. Hamley shared insights about her research on personality and distributed work.

Topics covered:

  • What “distributed work” is

  • The biggest myths about distributed work

  • Personality and distributed work

  • Self-management in work from home

  • What should managers be doing to better manage their teams


  • Working from home is not just office work accomplised at home: "You need to work much harder at setting boundaries because the boundaries of the traditional office are no longer at play and you need to work harder at communicating and collaborating in different ways than you would if you had the luxury of being together"

  • Different personalities will require different self-management approach: "some people's personality traits fit better than others for working remotely. And it doesn't mean you can't work remotely. It means that you need to put more strategies and learn how to adapt in a different way, so that your personality traits don't work against you." (...) if you're high on diligence, it's easier to say "I'm going to commit to these tasks today and this schedule, and I'm going to deliver and I'm going to push through and follow through, whereas someone lower on diligence will have to rely on more cues, more reminders. They're going to have to be held accountable to deliverables more so that they have that structure around them"

  • The propensity of trust, the ability to manage remote meetings and learning which communication medium to choose for your purpose all are strong predictors of someone's success at being a remote leader.

  • From another article where Dr, Hambley is cited: "“‘How can I manage someone that I can’t see?’ My answer to that is how do you know someone is working when you can see them? Are you looking over their shoulder? No. You’re emailing them from down the hall. It makes no sense.”" source:

  • Video conference marathons are not healthy: "organizations have moved remote and they're having just as many meetings, if not more meetings than they did when they were in the office. Be it Xoom, WebEx, Skype, GoTo meeting they're just on all the time. They're not having enough time to get focused work on, and the risk with that is when you don't have enough time, then you're working the evening and you're working the weekend. And this is an incredibly important time for work-life wellness and to stay ahead of our mental and emotional health and our physical health. So if we're working too much, I'm not going to be good for us as a society. "

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