The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the world of work. Among the most lasting developments is the growth in popularity of remote work. Whether we are talking about work-from-anywhere, work from home or even hybrid working policies, ‘telework’ is at the top of the list of business challenges, as well as at the heart of new expectations from employees and candidates alike. The changes in working environments appear – for the most part – to be much more engaging and effective. Studies by Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, professor at Harvard University, and Nicholas Bloom, from Stanford University, show that remote workers of all kinds saw their productivity increase significantly.

However, HR teams know that you can’t just improvise the implementation of a remote work strategy; better support for remote teams (fully or partially) is based on the delicate balance between well-being at work and performance objectives. Whilst committing to a profound transformation of working patterns, companies must remain attentive to their employees wants and needs.

So how do you identify the employees who will have the most difficulty working from home? How can you identify those who will succeed in adapting? How can you anticipate and even prevent feelings of isolation that some people might encounter? How best can you support them?

At AssessFirst, our ultimate goal is to help you identify the potential of both your candidates and employees in the face of changes in work. Our Science team has conducted extensive studies to understand the behavioural characteristics of people who manage remote relationships most easily, and those who perform best when working remotely.

Anticipating success whilst working remotely

To support you in implementing your remote strategy, AssessFirst offers you a brand new feature: the Remote Score. This indicator will allow you to benefit from all of the AssessFirst solution’s intelligence, and to predict for every individual:

  • Their ideal work environment for productivity: full remote, remote first, hybrid, mainly in the office, or 100% office
  • How they will manage relationships remotely: will they be able to flourish without physically seeing their colleagues and manager(s) every day? What is their level of relational independence?
  • How the person will manage their remote work: do they have a natural ability to be efficient, consistent, to show self-discipline and to begin every day easily?

And if that wasn’t enough, for each profile you can see recommendations for how to support that person and improve their telework experience!

Strong methodology…

To carry out this work, our first step was to define precisely what characterises suitability for remote work, as well as the major issues that HR professionals and Recruitment managers wished to address concerning it. A review of scientific and managerial literature enabled us to isolate two lines of work:

  • A “relational” axis: in a remote work situation, the means of communication and the modes of relationship change. Another major concern lies in the relational isolation that some employees may feel, and in their ability to manage relationships from a distance;
  • A “work” axis: employees’ performance while working remotely is obviously a subject of interest for many professionals. Without the structure and stability provided by the office, some may have difficulty adapting, getting started on a daily basis, and being as – or even more – efficient.

We then collected data on different samples of remote workers ranging in size from 366 to 1,224, in order to study the links between different psychological factors (personality, motivations, reasoning), and indicators quantifying the two axes presented above.

Regarding the “relationship” axis, the analyses show that the individuals who manage long-distance relationships with most difficulty and feel most isolated share personality traits and motivations relating to:

  • A need to have work centred on relationships and collaboration with others
  • A need for recognition
  • A way of thinking that is very operational and rooted in the present

Regarding the “work” axis, it appears that the most successful profiles have:

  • Naturally strong autonomy and an ability to make decisions
  • An ability to navigate uncertainty
  • A natural ability to manage their work and are self-disciplined
  • Above average reasoning skills

Based on these analyses, our Science team then developed state-of-the-art algorithms to calculate “relational” and “work” compatibility scores for each remote employee. On average, the top 20% people with the highest scores (most compatible profiles) for these indicators felt three times less isolated and are four times more efficient while working remotely! This research will be presented at the European Congress of Psychology 2022!

How do you use it?

You can use the remote score feature in 3 main ways:

  • To recruit new employees: even if the objective is not to recruit solely on the basis of these indicators, they allow you to have a complementary look at the profiles most likely to perform and flourish if you are recruiting for a position with a certain amount of remote work involved.
  • To better support your employees: the recommendations offered in this feature allow you to access practical and applicable management advice, which can help you to optimise your teams’ remote work experiences.

To drive your remote work strategy: through every one of your employee’s potential for working remotely, you can customise a strategy unique to your teams by identifying who will be more efficient/fulfilled in the office… or working remotely!


Now it’s up to you

To discover the Remote Score feature, log into your account on the AssessFirst application! Or try it for free for 14 days, by opening an account here!