Researchers found that conscientious and extroverted workers suffered more from setting up home work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People with these behavioral traits experienced “diminishing” results over time.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employees had to adjust to the rapid change from being present to working from home or working remotely.

Researchers published their study, “Extroversion and Conscientiousness Predict Worsening Work Results During COVID-19 Transition to Forced Remote Work,” in Social Personality Psychological Science.

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Six-year-old Leo is completing a homeschool activity suggested by his preschool’s online learning website while his mother Moira, a regional council employee, is on 15th, 2020, during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged millions who cannot work from home to return to work under the new guidelines that do not apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Extroverts burdened during WFH arrangements

According to a press release from Tilburg University, working from home has both advantages and disadvantages. For example, it gave employees more flexibility, but at the same time, social interaction with colleagues was eliminated. Challenges also arose with regard to the “compatibility of work and family”.

Tilburg researchers examined the relationship between different personality types and “personal variations in five work items” during the first wave of the pandemic when the shift took place. Self-reported performance, engagement, job satisfaction, burnout, and exit plans are included.

The researchers looked at workers who had to work from home from May to August 2020. According to the researchers, home office arrangements put a strain on extroverted and conscientious employees. Experts added that participants had lower levels of satisfaction and productivity.

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Extroverts are becoming unhappy and less busy at work amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Extroversion and conscientiousness were linked with worsening results over time, the researchers said. They added that with these personality traits, participants were less engaged and unhappy with their job, Extroverts also experienced more burnout, the researchers added.

While people with these personality traits achieved higher results at the beginning of the study, by the end they had already lost their “advantages”. On the other hand, those who scored low on these personality qualities improved on the same scores over the same period.

Researchers write in their study that extroversion and conscientiousness are linked to a variety of benefits when working under normal conditions. However, the study’s conclusion implied that these benefits would fade over time due to a forced (pandemic) shift to remote employment.

Less social interaction is a “disadvantage” for extroverts who work from home

Since socializing is one of the “fundamental aspects” of extroversion, the researchers indicated that the lack of the social interaction they normally had was a “significant disadvantage” of working from home. Introverts, on the other hand, in tests conducted before the pandemic, have shown themselves to be more successful in circumstances that restrict social contact.

Conscientious people have a strong need for order. It is conceivable that more conscientious individuals have had difficulties due to the “lack of structure and insecurity” that accompanies remote employment. Still, those who are less scrupulous have thrived, researchers said.

According to the researchers, the results of their study will help better understand how people’s unique traits can affect their job success. Tilburg University emphasized that studying such traits in employee personality can be beneficial if companies decide to proceed with the remote setup.

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