Remote Work and The Impacts of the Pandemic.

Remote Work and Job Satisfaction that Depends on Personality Traits: Evidence from Japan

Published in 2020 by The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, a PDF of the study is available here.

COVID19 has dramatically changed the traditional workplace and work location approaches – specifically regarding remote work.

This is true globally of course. However different countries and cultures have varying historical experience with remote work. There are also widely varying workplace and social norms from country – to – country. Japan’s typical workplace environment is far more group-oriented, even to the point that separate offices are far less prevalent.

This study by The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, supported by its own “JILPT Panel Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Work and Daily Life” conducted by JILPT in December 2020” provides useful insights.

The paper starts with the statement:

“It is thought that there is a large difference in whether or not this change of work style is accepted favorably by workers themselves depending on the personality traits of the individual.” I

The paper addresses the impact of worker personality traits on remote work satisfaction and performance.  The traits considered are: Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism & Openness to experience.

One of the conclusions states as follows:

“Finally, it is shown that individuals with higher “openness to experience” are more likely to obtain high job satisfaction through remote work…”

The Paper ends with the conclusion that:

“The expansion of remote work has brought about a shift in work style from working while communicating closely in the office to working independently away from the office, such as at home. It is generally said that the reduction of face- to-face communication with superiors and colleagues due to a remote work situation leads to a feeling of isolation and loneliness of employees, and companies are struggling to take measures such as providing opportunities for online chat. However, as seen in this paper, the implications of remote work differ greatly depending on the personality of each worker, and it is not desirable to have a uniform response regarding employee communication. This is a point that requires meticulous workplace management.”