Poly has revealed six distinct personas, and the associated trends to baseline the workplace technology needs that businesses must be aware of and adapt to in the world getting fine-tuned by a continuum of regional nuisances, the pandemic, and the new ways of work. The six personas, which together make up 92% of a typical enterprise have distinct character traits. Through identifying the attributes, pain points, and communication intensity associated with each persona, businesses are better equipped to match workstyles and employee behaviours to devices and technologies, in turn increasing organisational productivity and meeting equality for workers collaborating from several different locations.
The six baseline personas are:
Making up the largest proportion of the workforce at 27%, these workers have a traditional office-based work style that is highly collaborative in nature, and open to new technology. However, this brings with it background noise, and constant disruptions, and a need to seamlessly manage their communication across devices. The findings further predict a stark decline in this type of worker persona in the future underpinned by the uptick in their desire to work more flexibly in the future.
Splitting time between the corporate office, a home office and travel, 20% of the workforce is now a flexible worker who is always innovating, and adapting their communications channels due to their frequent remote and on-the-go work. They risk having difficulty collaborating with colleagues, and missing important information in the office so they need to be “always-on,” and communicate across several devices to minimise this risk. The size of this persona group will likely grow as Office Collaborators who want to work more flexibly adapt to work at home, in the office and elsewhere.
With fewer opportunities for in-person meetings, the 15% of the workforce who are Remote Collaborators face challenges including successful and productive collaboration. They need multiple devices, unified communications, and technologies to bridge the gaps between them and their colleagues, co-workers and clients. This persona will grow, likely from Office Collaborators who choose to work remotely following the recent, worldwide test-and-experience phase of remote working driven primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Office Communicators are most comfortable with familiar systems and devices such as a desk phone. They make up 13% of the workforce and it is important to acknowledge their challenges such as being diverted by interruptions, background noise, and lack of privacy on calls. More traditional workstyles went through a change during the pandemic, and this persona group will be stable in the short term as this is a group anxious to return to the office.
These tech-savvy business drivers make up 12% of the typical workforce. They go wherever needed to make decisions and solve problems. Versatile in their work style, they use more communication tools than any other persona. Their pain points include diversions, interruptions and unpredictable background noise as they need to stay connected across all devices. Executives’ need to connect will continue to be persistent due to which there will be a negligible effect on this persona type in the future.
Accounting for 5% of the workforce, Road Warriors are always on the move working outside of the office more than 50% of the time. They need highly portable and easy to use solutions that eliminate noise and reduce the chance of unreliable connections. Some people will still need to travel at times to complete the business tasks that require in-person contributions. This group size will remain stable as those who were prevented from travelling during COVID-19 get back out to see customers and colleagues.
The remaining 8% of employees not covered by the six personas fall under the Office Independent type. This includes people operating in self-directed roles with limited communication and collaboration technology needs. Jennifer Adams, senior sales experience and enablement director at Poly, explained, “We have been studying workplace personas for almost a decade, but never has it been as crucial as it is now to truly understand the personality types within your business and how to get the best out of them. Whilst this study was conducted during COVID-19, we believe that the behaviour shifts observed in the workplace will remain long-term. Identifying these and ensuring that everyone has the correct tools and devices to maximise efficiency and productivity is the key to a successful and efficient workforce both now and for years to come.”