How To Work Productively From Home, Based On Your Enneagram Type

We’re in a wild time right now, where working at home is mandatory for almost everyone. And while for some, working from home is a dream, it’s not that way for everyone. For some, working at home is challenging. 

We all have different ways of dealing with situations, and it helps to understand yourself and your coworkers so that you can productively communicate with them online in this season.

To help with the transition, we’re rounding up the nine enneagram types and how they best work at home. So if you’re trying to figure out how to work with your temporarily remote team, here are a few tips about your type and your colleagues’ types.

Type 1

Type ones are especially gifted at seeing what isn’t working and how to make it better, which makes them great at figuring out the perfect work from home structure.

When it comes to working from home, type ones are sure to be the most ethical about how they are spending their working hours, but need to make an effort to delegate, so they don’t overwork themselves. They should use their gifts to help others to see how they can become their best at work.

Ones can struggle with change and have trouble adapting, so encourage them to focus on completing the work instead of getting perfectionistic about the way it has to be done right now. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to get done.

Type 2

Twos have the gift of community building, which is just what we’re most in need of right now. Twos should let their optimistic energy be felt virtually, and it’s a good time to lean on our twos. But just remember to encourage the twos back, because they need it too or they get resentful. Our sensitive twos prefer gentle feedback, and in a virtual setting, it can be easy to misinterpret criticism via email or message.

Twos also need to be extra clear while working remotely about their needs. They need to be careful not to overcommit themselves – which they are prone to do when they feel they can help. When getting late-night work inquiries, it’s important to remind themselves that they can reply in the morning. 

Type 3

Type threes tend to disconnect from their feelings to stay focused at work. Right now, it’s hard not to have feelings about what’s going on, and our coworkers need emotional support.

It’s essential that the deal-with-this-later mentality that threes easily muster is recognized and worked on during this time when people need more support. Take an extra moment each day to tune in, breathe and pause. Meditation will be an excellent way for threes to start their work at home days before grinding the day away and getting a lot done – as usual.

They’ll be well-served to create a shutdown ritual, instead of using this as an excuse to work 24/7 without boundaries.

Type 4

Type fours should lean into their gift for bringing people together to collaborate while working virtually. Because of the quarantine situation, there are a lot of rules and regulations happening, which tends to bog down a four.

They’ll need outlets to express themselves, whether it’s through a creative work project or activities outside of work.

Make sure to take time to listen to Fours’ ideas, especially when they’re fully expressing themselves. Whether you choose their approach or not, they want to feel like their ideas are individual and not instantly dismissed. 

Type 5

Fives might be cheering because of fewer in-person meetings, but they are also likely to be upset over the meshing of their personal and work lives. Fives like to keep things separate, and a video meeting within their private space can be difficult for a five.

Give our fives as much autonomy as possible, while still expecting that the five will come through if you’ve given them a due date. Fives need to remember to check-in and respond to inquires.

Allow fives plenty of time to prepare, and they’ll be ready to show up for you. Spring something on them last minute? They won’t be happy.

Type 6

Our sixes are likely to be the most anxious during this time. Expect lots of questions about when it’s safe to resume back to work as usual, and lots of updates on the latest news.

When working on projects, sixes can believe they’re working when all they’ve been doing is *thinking*, so it’s helpful to ask follow up questions when you want an update on how a task is going – especially virtually.

If you have problems come up, sixes are likely the first to spot them, but they’re also great troubleshooters so they are equipped to solve them too.

Type 7

Our fast-pasted sevens will be encouraging and get us through the stress of this season with levity. They’re always looking to advance the mission and their team player attitude will show up even remotely.

That said, sevens will likely struggle the most with working at home. They prefer variety and a change of scenery. They can get really bored and frustrated feeling trapped in their homes. Because of this, sevens must take breaks with walks in nature.

Keep encouraging them and allow them the flexibility to get things done on their terms – while still holding them accountable.

Type 8

Eights will need the lines of communication to keep flowing as usual during this time, which can be tough when a team is working remotely. Otherwise, they may struggle with what’s expected of them, which leads to feeling like the person in charge isn’t on top of it. Make sure the rules for working from home are outlined, so eights know what they should be expecting. Eights prefer not to be surprised and appreciate clear boundaries.

You can be assured that eights will get their work done as usual and can take charge no matter the situation. 

Type 9

Nines aren’t exactly self-starters, but they’re great team players who love to go with the flow of the group. Nines will struggle with working from home if they don’t create a rhythm and routine. They should spend some time developing what their work-from-home routine looks like so that they can flow into a work routine.

Nines don’t love feeling pressure to perform, nor do they like taking work home with them, so it’ll be important for them to establish a shutdown ritual and a separate workspace. 

What’s your enneagram number and does this resonate with you?

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