Dealing with different work styles a challenge: Survey

But two-thirds of workers also see benefits to collaboration
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/06/2011

Great minds don't always think alike — work styles vary based on individual personality traits, communication preferences and organizational methods, according to a study.

While 70 per cent of 3,249 administrative professionals surveyed in the United States and Canada said it can be challenging to team up with colleagues who don't have styles similar to their own, 66 per cent recognize benefits to collaborating with those who approach things differently.

However, 81 per cent of the respondents prefer to collaborate with colleagues who have similar work styles, found the survey developed by OfficeTeam, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and Insights Learning and Development.

"Employees who have differing perspectives and approaches bring fresh ideas to projects," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "You can improve team collaboration by taking advantage of complementary strengths and adapting your own work style to suit the situation."

Successfully interacting with others requires a little give and take, but support staff are doing more of the bending, according to the study, Your Work Style in Colour. Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of administrative professionals said they "greatly" adapt to their boss' work style but 58 per cent indicated their supervisor only adjusts "somewhat" to their preferences. And 14 per cent said their manager doesn't adapt to their style at all.

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