Workplace Preferences Depending On Personality Types [Research]

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ISG research reveals workplace preferences depending on personality types 

  • For 55% of the UK office workers having plenty of natural light is the main workplace priority
  • Edinburgh, London, and Birmingham office workers have the highest workplace satisfaction in the UK

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A Personality Test That Reveals Workplace Preferences

July 2020 – To help businesses and employees navigate uncertainty over the future of workplace, ISG paired up with a clinical trainee psychologist to develop a personality test that reveals workplace preferences based on people’s character traits.

As restrictions slowly ease and businesses resume, both employers and employees face the question about the future of workplace. ISG, a global construction specialist, conducted a survey of 5,779 office workers in the UK, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia to better understand the power of workplace prior to the lockdown. The survey indicated that plenty of natural light (55%), plenty of fresh air (48%) and being able to work from home or outside of the workplace (45%) came on top as the main employee priorities for UK workers.

workplace preferences

In terms of the regional split, employees working in Edinburgh tend to have the highest satisfaction about their workplace conditions (63%), followed by London (55%) and Birmingham (53%). However, employees working in Cardiff are least satisfied by their workplace with only 37% confirming so.

Even with the rise of remote working, there is no doubt that businesses who invest in their workplace are seeing the benefits. Some 42% of employees in the UK who are satisfied with their workplace conditions say they are able to deliver products or services effectively, compared to only 9% of those who are unsatisfied. Similarly, 39% of employees in excellent working conditions feel a sense of belonging to their company compared to only 6% of those in poor working conditions.

Matt Hurrell, ISG’s board director for its UK Fit Out business, said: “The Covid-19 global crisis has proven the ability and desire to work remotely more routinely is likely to accelerate changes in the workplace. Consequently, it is probable that there will be a reduction in the allocation of desk space in the typical office, but this might be offset with an increase in the space attributed to social engagement. This is key in bringing teams together, enhancing collaboration and stimulating creative thinking. In tandem with growing awareness and consideration of neurodiversity and well-being in the workplace, this may see a greater emphasis being placed on light, sound and further enhancement in the flexibility of the workspace area.”

workplace preferences

The Big Five Personality Theory

Taking into account the research findings, ISG collaborated with Hannah Baker, a trainee clinical psychologist, to discover ways in which employees’ personality traits can be indicators of their preferences for office or remote working. By using the Big Five personality theory as the foundation, the test outlines ten statements that are based on five main dimensions of an individual’s personality – extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, stress and openness to experience. Respondents are asked if they agree with the statements and depending on the number of positive responses they are sorted in three workplace personality types available on

Hannah Baker, a trainee clinical psychologist, said: “When considering your workspace, it is important to remember that all people respond to their environments differently. It can be helpful to think about where your motivation comes from – some people are motivated internally, while others respond to external factors. Also, understanding how other people impact your work can help. Individuals who are more introverted might find thinking independently in a quiet space most helpful. Extroverts, however, might prefer a busy office space, where they can exchange ideas and information with others.”

To find out more about the research and access the workplace personality test, please visit