Jokers in the real office are no laughing matter

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:48pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Charlie Breslin

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The office joker, a traditional workplace mainstay, may be on the way out, according to a new report identifying eight key workplace personalities.

The 'T-Mobile Workplace Motivation Report', authored by leading business psychologist Honey Langcaster-James reveals that despite the recent financial doom and gloom David Brent-style office jokers are no laughing matter when it comes to motivating a disheartened workplace.

This is bad news for those who fall under the report's Joker category, as 15 percent of those interviewed said that they found constant gag-cracking -- by people similar to the fictional Brent in the BBC television comedy series "The Office" -- to actually have a de-motivating influence in the workplace.

On the contrary, workers are turning to go-getting "Cheerleader" types to raise office morale, with more than a quarter of those interviewed saying that the 'can-do' attitude of this type of worker was a beneficial and motivational influence in the workplace.

The report concludes that a third of British workers identified themselves as a down-to-earth, pragmatic "Realist" type, likened to straight-talking British entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar, characterized by their black and white thinking and sarcastic, dry sense of humor.

The report identifies the eight most common workplace personalities ranging from the nurturing and approachable "Mother Hen," always ready with advice and a shoulder to cry on, to the laid back, unflappable "Dude," whose ability to remain unflustered has a calming influence in a stressed-out workplace.

Other personality types include the socially connected "Link," who believes it's not what you know but who you know, the creative and resourceful "Innovator," and the fastidious, technically minded "Geek."

"The trick is to identify which profile most closely fits your own personality and to see if it is affecting the way you work and how you interact with colleagues," Langcaster-James said.   Continued...