• Home
  • Press Releases
  • From ‘paddlers’ to ‘tasks-takers’: the five types of home-workers

New report demonstrates how online assessments can reveal where home-based workers are struggling

TRUMBULL, CT USA — April 22, 2020 — Working from home has become all but universal.  According to a new report, the ability of workers to adapt to the new circumstances has been anything but consistent.

Questionmark, the online assessment provider, has released five typologies that capture the different ways workers are adapting.  By assessing the ‘remote-readiness’ of the workforce, organizations can determine which challenges exist across teams.  Leaders can introduce training and interventions.

The report identifies five home-worker typologies.

  • Seasoned survivors – before the current crisis, millions were experienced remote workers.  Working from home is nothing new.  They are familiar with the range of technology at their disposal and well versed in the culture and etiquette that accompanies remote working.
  • Paddlers – this group have some experience of working from home.  But are they as remote ready as employers might assume?  Perhaps in the past, they have been home based every now and then to let a repair man in.  But have they exaggerated the effectiveness of their at-home set up?   
  • Newbs – the people entering a brave new world, technologically and culturally.  Having never worked from home before, this group is experiencing a host of challenges.  From the cat jumping on the keyboard to struggling to find the mute button on a video conference, creating a professional environment is taking its time. 
  • The anxious – crafting an email from your kitchen table may be a strikingly similar process to doing so from the office.  But for the anxious, new ways of working have triggered a sense of crisis.  Convinced that their job role is simply impossible to execute from home, productivity from this group is in sharp decline. 
  • Task-takers – studies have shown that working from home requires ‘high self-efficacy.’[1]   But this group are used to taking orders.  Without a manager or supervisor sat next to them, deciding what to do next seems like an insurmountable challenge.  For some this is symptomatic of job roles performed to date.  In others, it is engrained into personality.

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark said, “in many countries, organizations had to move to remote working in the space of a few days. There was simply no time to conduct a ‘remote ready’ analysis. It was all done on the go.”

“By assessing the home-based workforce, organizations can pinpoint which technical or cultural aspects people are struggling to adjust to.   This valuable knowledge will help leaders make good decisions and ensure that they get the best performance out of each individual.”

As the report demonstrates, workers have responded to working from home in a variety of ways.  A one size fits all approach to managing productivity is unlikely to be effective. 

A ‘paddler’ or a ‘newb’ may need more training on the different remote tools available.  The ‘anxious’ may benefit from peer mentoring.    The ‘task-taker’ may require greater accountability.

To make the decisions about maintaining productivity, information is vital.  By conducting a remote-ready assessment of the workforce, organizations can determine which challenges exist across different teams and business functions.  They can then develop appropriate training and other interventions.

Questionmark is an enterprise-grade assessment platform that enables businesses and organizations to get the valid, fair and defensible information they need to make good decisions. 

Organizations can use the Questionmark platform to author an assessment that will assess the technical remote working skills of their staff.  They can measure employees’ understanding of their expectations around at-home working.

Because of the platform’s accessible functionality, assessments are easy to author.  Questionmark experts can also provide help and guidance with drafting questions.

Download and read the full report.

To further explore how Questionmark could work for your organization, or to book a free consultation and demo, please see:

https://www.questionmark.com/request-demo


[1]https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b045109c258b4052b14cd0d/t/5c8d6f0ee4966b4eaedbf0df/1552772880182/Academic+Paper.docx.pdf