How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype

How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype

One of the great things about working from home is the flexibility. That includes flexibility in what your work-from-home setup looks (and feels) like.

As we know, the turmoil of 2020 gave us very little time to properly transition from a traditional office to a work-from-home lifestyle. Our home office furnishings became something of an afterthought. Maybe you just plopped your computer down on the dining room table and called it good? Or perhaps your spare-bedroom-turned-office is outfitted with whatever you could scrounge up: a camping chair, a folding card table, a lamp from your teenager’s former nursery.

Now, two years into the work-from-home shift, it’s past time to rethink your workspace. It’s true that most of us aren’t interior designers. But creating a new office space does not have to be daunting.

In this article, we will explore how to create the perfect work-from-home setup that aligns with your worker archetype. Because every home office can be, and should be, unique.

What is a worker archetype?

Not every worker is a carbon copy of the next. Instead, different employees have different personalities, aspirations, aversions, and strengths. As detailed in the 2022 report, “The Working Future” produced by the global management consulting group Bain & Company (B&C), employees can be divided into six personalities, or archetypes. These archetypes consist of Operators, Givers, Artisans, Explorers, Strivers, and Pioneers.

Some of these workers value creativity, others flexibility, others a robust team, and others monetary gains. Some need calm. Some prefer chaos. Some plan ahead, and others fly by the seat of their pants.

The work environment that will work best for you has a lot to do with your personality type. If you are a planner and an organizer, then perhaps your ideal office is minimalist, streamlined, and clutter-free. An office filled with half-completed projects, sticky notes, and unusual trinkets might make it hard for you to concentrate and get work done. On the other hand, if your coworker is creative and a nonlinear thinker, they might prefer the chaos! In other words, your worker archetype can inform your ideal office setup.

Read on to find your worker archetype and the office gear that best matches your personality.

Operators

Operators are motivated primarily by life outside of work. Because of this, their job can sometimes feel like a means to an end. Operators value camaraderie and tend to be good team players. They prefer stability and predictability in their jobs. They are usually happy to stay in the position they have and are not focused on growth.

Because work is not necessarily the place an Operator most wants to be, the focus of their at-home office should be comfort and efficiency. If you’re an Operator, focus on making the office as desirable a place to be as possible with the following:

Givers

Givers find satisfaction in changing their world through their jobs. Money is not the thing that most drives them. They tend to be in professions that directly improve the lives of others, like health care, teaching, or non-profit law. Givers tend to be cautious and risk-adverse, making them forward planners.

If you’re a Giver, the forward-planning part of you will want to keep your office organized. Because you are caring and value interpersonal connections, you may find comfort in showcasing reminders of the things and people you love. Consider the following for your home office setup:

  • Desktop calendars and planners to stay focused and organized
  • A corkboard to showcase letters from family or thank-yous from appreciative clients and coworkers
  • Cozy touches like a blanket or space heater to get back some of the comfort you give others
  • Large potted plants to continue your love of nurturing
How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype

Artisans

Artisans find meaning in their work, focusing on a career that fascinates or inspires them. They are motivated by doing their job really well, mastering their role, and continuing to grow. They prefer to work autonomously.

Because Artisans tend to be creative problem solvers, their home office setup should allow for visualization and playfulness. If you’re an Artisan, consider the following for your home office:

Explorers

Explorers value freedom and the opportunity to, well, explore. They look for jobs that have a lot of freedom, variety, and excitement. Explorers tend to be less risk-averse than other worker archetypes, willing to take on risk if it means more flexibility. Explorers also tend to be autonomous and pragmatic.

Because Explorers don’t like to be pinned down, their home office setup should include lots of opportunities to move, wiggle, and dance. If you’re an Explorer, consider the following:

  • An under-desk bicycle or stepper to keep your legs moving
  • A standing desk to give yourself the freedom to move around
  • A new pair of headphones so you can crank your favorite music and get hyped up
  • Motivational prints to keep you driven toward your goals
How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype

Strivers

Strivers want to make something of themselves. Because of this, they are highly motivated by professional success. Strivers tend to be forward thinkers but also risk-averse, preferring to follow traditional paths to success. Strivers can be competitive, both internally and externally. They are also disciplined and transparent.

Strivers need a work environment that makes them feel well-placed for success. If you’re a Striver, look for work-from-home gear that gives you optimal efficiency and productivity. Some WFH ideas that fit your personality type include:

Pioneers

Pioneers want to change the world. They have a dedicated vision of the world and form strong views on the steps that need to be taken to achieve that vision. Pioneers are invested in their work, and they tend to sacrifice their personal life to achieve work goals. They can handle risk if it will serve their future goals. Pioneers have the energy and drive to make change happen.

With such strong vision, Pioneers need to balance setting and keeping their goals with having opportunities to de-stress. If you are a Pioneer, an ideal work-from-home setup would keep this balance in mind. Consider updating your home office with the following:

  • Stress balls to manage the anxiety of your “work hard” lifestyle
  • Backup hard drives and data storage so you can properly manage your plans and data, keeping it all safe and secure
  • A vision board displayed prominently in your home office to keep your priorities top-of-mind
How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype

Conclusion

Your worker archetype not only says a lot about how you approach your work, but also your ideal environment to feel productive and comfortable. Which archetype resonates most with you? Does your work environment already match your archetype? (And remember, you may identify with more than one archetype! That’s okay!) Looking ahead, just a few tweaks to your WFH space could unlock a better understanding of yourself and your work style.

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How to match your WFH setup with your worker archetype