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14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)
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It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? If you work in an office, then you know the workplace can be a zoo of personalities. The commotion of the work environment can bring out the best and worst of us. And that’s just it – all of us have these internal opposing sides. We have strengths and weaknesses too, and the unique combination of these characteristics is what makes us distinct.

In the office, as in all work environments, it’s important for employees to focus on communication, teamwork, morale and an overall professional tone. Being the people we are, we can get in the way of our goals. One step that can help improve how we interact is to identify our personality archetypes, weaknesses and strengths alike. We can only improve how we work with others once we’ve acquired some sense of self-awareness.

With at least 14 personality types to consider, this process could get interesting. Yes, think of it at least in terms of entertainment, if nothing else. It’s an invaluable skill to be able to laugh at oneself.

Which One Are You?

The Micromanager

No one wants to be the micromanager, as they’re disliked by everyone. Yet, the micromanager is ubiquitous, transcending all industries and workplace environments. Without doubt, you’ve them in the office. You’ll know them by their compulsive ‘hovering’ behavior. Typically micromanagers are managers, or bosses of some kind. They question employees’ every move, demand constant updates, and struggle to delegate work or give up control.

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The Overcommitted Colleague

Similar to the overachiever, the over-committer cannot say ‘no.’ They stay at work late, chair fundraisers, volunteer to bring the donuts to every meeting, host work parties. The overcommitted do it all. They can be nice to have around, clearly, because they’ll take care of all the little jobs no one else wants to. This behavior creates a number of problems. It can make it impossible for their coworkers to get new opportunities. Overcommitted workers may be sincere do-gooders. But they may be manipulative and uber-controlling. They’re unpredictable and definitely hard to read.

The Office Gossip

This personality requires little explanation. They were likely the gossipers on the playground when you were little, gossipers in high school and college. Now they gossip in your professional life. Stay away. It’s hard not to be swept away once you involve yourself, so just don’t go there.

The Connector

The connector personality can turn your work life upside down – in a good way. They are the colleagues in the know. Connectors excel at hooking people up to build more productive teams. They connect work-seekers with employers. Once you find a connector, treat them well, and learn how to appreciate their gift. If you’re a more withdrawn personality, you may find the connector intimidating. Just remember that the connector type tends to like everyone, or at least can appreciate aspects of every personality.

The Anti-Social

It’s hard to say if the anti-social types are lonely. Maybe they dislike the company of others, and therefore find solitude a more satisfying experience. You’ll know the antisocial type by their absence, if that makes sense. They won’t be at the office parties or Friday happy hours. You won’t find them hanging around the lunch room. They’re just not to be found.

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The “Know-It-All”

They have an answer for everything. Everything. Know-it-alls interject their glowing insights at every chance. They speak up (and won’t shut up) at meetings, at social events. They give unwarranted advice and, unfortunately, don’t seem to take ‘no thank you’ for an answer. Another problem is that though they may seem knowledgeable, they often aren’t.

The Lazy Ones

The lazy workers depend on the overcommitted, even the micromanager. It’s a mystery to everyone how the lazy coworker is still employed, but there they are, doing nothing every day. They may frequent your cubicle, stopping by to chat, find out what you’re having for lunch, or maybe they just stand there, staring. It may be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. If you have an office full of overcommitted, go-getter types, maybe the ‘lazy one’ is actually an average worker.

The Talker

Similar to the know-it-all, the talker is successful at distracting their peers with their annoying, attention-seeking behavior. The talker wants to talk, not work. It makes a person wonder what the talker would do with themselves if they were out of the job. Who would listen to them? The talker can be nice to have around, though, if you struggle to interact socially. Sidle up to the talker at an office party, and it’s smooth sailing.

The Stressed-Out

You may know them as the office ‘drama queen,’ a derogatory term in my opinion. I’m taking the liberty to defend the stressed worker because I self-identify as one. Everything is a big deal for us. Every deadline, every change coming down the pipeline. Go easy on the stress freaks. We’re doing the best we can!

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The Chillax

The so-called ‘chillax’ workers are the type everyone in the office should probably hang around more often. Their keep their personal lives at home so they can roll with the punches at work. The chillax keep the stress in check. They may be seen as lazy by workaholics, but the chillax don’t care . . . because they’re chillax.

The Clown

You may love or hate the office clown. It’s a real toss-up. At their best, the clown can add value by breaking the ice in tense situations, livening up dull meetings and making their coworkers laugh on dreadful Monday mornings. At their worst, they aren’t funny at all. They may not know how to end a joke, take their job seriously, take anything seriously.

The Real Leader

The real leader at the office is the one people listen to, trust, admire and respect. They may not be at the top of the company, but they take their job seriously. Leaders embody the core values of the company without pretension. Real leaders inspire others by showing enthusiasm for working together toward goals. They’re socially astute but don’t go overboard like the talkers or the office gossips. They keep their priorities in balance.

The Stable Performer

Maybe less exciting, the stable performer is also known as the average worker. They’re the bread and butter employee, the one employers can depend on to show up and perform well on a regular basis. They may not be real leaders, but they’re not lazy either.

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The Genius

Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey – the visionaries among us. The geniuses are the gods and goddesses of the professional realm. Many are entrepreneurs, some work inconspicuously from within the company. The genius has the big ideas and they typically need some extremely capable business partners to make those ideas reality.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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