The Art of Workstyle Diversity- Why Remote Work Isn’t for Everyone

I am a huge fan of flexibility in the workplace and hybrid working is a great initiative.  

Those of you who have been following my posts on the future of work will know that I advocate for strong workplace cultures and leadership as we move forward in exploring and maximising opportunities in the new world order (of work). 

But it’s not for everyone. 

Not every role is suited to remote or hybrid work styles. 

Not every person is suited to remote or hybrid work styles. 



Early-stage professionals miss a lot by not being around more experienced professionals.  

New graduates and school leavers need some level of structure to develop an understanding of how things are done around here as well as developing networks and knowledge. 

Let’s explore this further. 


Not Every Role Is Suited to Remote or Hybrid Work Structures 


Exploring the Limitations 

When we point out that not every role is suitable for remote or hybrid work structures, we are emphasising that certain jobs require employees to be physically present in certain locations in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Consider, for instance, bus drivers, on-site service providers and retail employees. 

The role of bus drivers requires both the operation of vehicles and the transportation of passengers, which is inherently location-dependent. Similarly, service providers such as plumbers, electricians and healthcare professionals typically require direct access to their clients or patients, making remote work impossible.

Employees are the backbone of consumer experiences in the retail industry, providing customer service, managing inventory and ensuring a seamless shopping environment. In these circumstances, remote or hybrid work is not an option. 


The Importance of On-Site Presence 

In such roles, the physical presence of employees is necessary for the operation of the business and the delivery of services. The personal touch and immediate assistance they provide are significant to their job responsibilities, making remote work impractical and, in some cases, impossible. As a result, it is essential to acknowledge that while remote work may be a game-changer for some professions or jobs, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. 


Not Every Person Is Suited to Remote or Hybrid Work Styles

People are all different. Different work styles and personality styles mean that some people work better when they’re working together with colleagues – in the same place. 


Embracing Individual Differences 

In addition to role-specific considerations, it is essential to recognise that not all individuals are ideally suited to remote or hybrid work styles. Diverse work styles, personality traits and preferences can significantly influence an individual’s capacity to thrive in a remote or hybrid work environment. 


The Need for Collaboration and Social Interaction 

Some people are more outgoing and thrive in interactions with others. They thrive on the energy and motivation from face-to-face communication with colleagues and workplace camaraderie. The physical presence of coworkers fosters creativity, collaboration and a sense of belonging for these individuals, which may be challenging to replicate in a remote setting. 


Different Strokes for Different Folks 

Furthermore, some professionals perform better when physically present in traditional workplace conditions. They may find it easier to stay focused, remain motivated and maintain a healthy work-life balance when they have clearly defined personal and professional boundaries. 

In contrast, remote work can be isolating and mentally exhausting, resulting in lower job satisfaction and well-being. It is essential for organisations to recognise and respect these differences, providing flexibility whenever possible and ensuring that the working environment meets the needs and preferences of each individual. 


Surround Yourself with The Pros 

When you start working in your profession, you learn as much from observation and osmosis as you did the technical aspects at university or college. You assist other, more experienced, professionals by shadowing, helping out on projects, sitting in on meetings and much of this cannot be done remotely.  

The more you’re around others, the quicker you pick up things and learn the intricacies that often may be missed by not being in physical presence.  


Structure Helps New Starters 

New graduates and school leavers need some level of structure to develop an understanding of “how things are done around here” as well as developing networks and knowledge. They learn the value of a level of structure and personal discipline in getting things done. They learn to turn up on time and dress according to requirements of the workplace.  

They learn the value of relationships at work, how to deal with people / customers / decision makers / stakeholders – and the value of getting on well with people. They learn that it’s not all about what they want to do and when they want to do it – but there are organisational rules and norms that need to be heeded in order to get things done and be successful. 


So, how does this apply to organisational culture and leadership? 


Organisations need to have a clear understanding around who, what and why of remote and hybrid working – and ensure that the guidelines are clear to all – including valid reasons as to why some roles can work remotely and others not. If this is not clear, those who are not permitted to work remotely may feel disadvantaged and dissent may ensue!! This can lead to an unhealthy workplace culture and employees pitting themselves against others as they feel unfairly treated.  


So, how do we ensure that this does not happen? 

 1. Ensure workplace structure is clear and roles that can work remotely are identified, with valid reasons why they are able to work remotely and the same for those who cannot work remotely. These should be position-based, and not based on the person and must be consistently applied.

2. Ensure all employees are aware of the guidelines for their roles and circumstances. 

 3. Have workplace flexibility policies and procedures that make it easier for those employees who can’t work remotely or hybrid to feel comfortable with the workplace, and that they are not “losing out” because of the requirements of their jobs.  

 4. From time to time, employees who are in roles that are deemed appropriate for remote or hybrid working may not be performing and the privilege of working remotely may not be extended. This should be managed as any other performance issue and due process be followed – with the start being a discussion about why things don’t appear to be working, followed by objectives and opportunities to improve, with the consequence of lack of improvement being withdrawal of the opportunity to work remotely.  



In conclusion, while hybrid and remote work structures have brought about innovative changes in the way we work, it is essential to keep in mind that they are not suitable for everybody’s circumstances. Certain positions require on-site presence to perform their duties, and some individuals thrive in traditional office environments.  


By understanding these differences and embracing the diversity of work styles, we can foster a more inclusive and productive workforce, one that can accommodate the changing needs of both roles and individuals. 


It’s not for all but with good policies and practices and clear and transparent motives, a strong workplace culture with strong collaboration and outcomes can be built with a variety of workstyles, work patterns and a mix of on-site and remote / hybrid working arrangements. 


Jo Attard Watters is the Managing Principal and Founder of PeopleEdge Coaching & Consulting. Jo is a professional, Master’s degree qualified Executive and Career Management Coach, Consultant, Business Adviser and Academic who works with individuals and organisations to help them “be the best they can be”. With significant experience within both Corporate and Not for Profit sectors, Jo is passionate about seeing her clients succeed in their areas of interest.