The most common office personalities – and how to work better together

New Premier Inn research sheds light on how to set yourself up for success at work, exploring all the different personalities in the office.

New research by Premier Inn lifts the lid on the different personality types we are most likely to encounter at work. They also offer advice about how we can work better together, as half of UK employees (50 per cent) admit it can be hard to navigate the workplace environment. This is partly due to the countless personalities that come in to play, with more than three quarters of employees (79 per cent) agreeing that being able to manage different personalities makes the job easier.

The research reveals the ‘Grafter’ takes top spot as the most common character professionals come across (39 per cent), followed by the ‘Chatterbox’ (35 per cent) and the ‘Workaholic’ (27 per cent).

However, it is the ‘Big Talker’, the office show-off, which professionals find most tricky to work with (34 per cent). Meanwhile, the ‘Micromanager’ tops the list of the characters workers feel they need the most support to work alongside (22 per cent).

To give employees a helping hand, Premier Inn has teamed up with leading business psychologist, Dr Lynda Shaw, to provide advice on how best to deal with different characters at work. Far from simply making the working day easier, these tips could stand them in good stead in their career, as 74 per cent of workers agree knowing how to manage personalities effectively would help them to succeed at work.

Dr Lynda Shaw states, ‘It’s important to remember that every person is unique. We all have individual personalities and motivations which cause us to react differently in situations, be that at work or in our personal lives. Thinking specifically about the workplace, it’s vital that we recognise and value these personal differences, because being able to anticipate how someone might react, and knowing how to handle individual personalities, can help us be successful at work. There is no set of rules on how to navigate the workplace but there are some tips and tricks we can all benefit from.’

Clearly, a good working relationship with colleagues is fundamental to success. However, according to UK professionals, other behaviours also play a key role. Being a team player topped the list (56 per cent), followed by having a positive outlook (52 per cent) and being flexible within the job role (50 per cent).

Edward Fotheringham, head of sales and reservations at Premier Inn, comments, ‘At Premier Inn, we are committed to making things easy for the thousands of business guests we welcome through our doors and this extends beyond their stay with us. It’s no secret that the workplace can sometimes feel like a minefield to navigate and this research confirms that understanding the inner workings of our colleagues’ minds is hugely important. By offering advice and support in this field, we hope employees around the UK will be armed with the right tools to spend more time doing their job brilliantly.’

Dr Lynda Shaw has the following advice for professionals looking to navigate the workplace environment:

  • Be calm and stay in control; this will help people learn to respect you as a voice of reason, no matter who they are.
  • Get to know people; What are their hobbies; do they have a family, if so, what are their names; building rapport will help you handle all types of personalities.
  • Explain your intentions clearly; People are not mind readers, so don’t assume you are understood, instead make sure you are calm and assertive.
  • Equally, make the effort to understand other people’s intentions; Ask them their thought processes in doing things, you may learn something and you will definitely be showing them respect.
  • Establish the terrain when you start a new job – find out who the different personalities are so you can adapt your working style to work best with them. If you know there are personalities you might clash with – think about how to adapt your style to make working with them easier.
  • Prepare for the different personalities that you may encounter in a board meeting – if you’re leading the meeting, it may help to do some prep in advance, for example, by having a very focused agenda.

Further reading on office personalities

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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