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5 Productivity Styles and Their Impact on Workspace

Updated on January 31, 2024By
Productivity Styles

Staying productive is one thing all employees always aim to achieve in their workplace. A productive workspace, along with the right productivity styles, can motivate people to work harder and better.

However, it can mean something different for everyone.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, many companies tended to adjust to different work styles and setups.

Productivity has different styles. You may still need to learn about it, but your team encounters it daily.

But how are these productivity styles affecting the workspace? No matter your hybrid or remote setup, work can still be fruitful, depending on your process. Dig deeper into the different productivity styles and get more progressive results from your team.

Read this blog post to learn about the various productivity styles and how they affect your organization. 

But first, let’s define what productivity style is.

What is productivity style?

According to Carson Tate, an employee engagement expert and founder of Working Simply, Inc., this is how employees behave in their daily work routine. More likely, it is the different personalities of people in the workplace.

Often, conflicts arise due to diversity in the workplace, but most of the time, it can lead to the development of efficient and creative solutions.

Conflicts in the workplace often happen due to differences in opinion and even workstyle productivity. 

However, based on stats from The Niagara Institute, the majority, or 55.7% of the respondents out of 716 professionals from over 36 countries, said they still want to resolve conflicts to restore harmony in work despite the differences.

Additionally, 30.6% of the respondents admit that there are instances when they become too competitive or aggressive during conflict resolution.

Learning more about the different work styles can help you discover your approach and help you improve as a teammate and collaborator. Identifying your work style can also help prevent future conflicts within the organization. 

And now, let us see what factors affect these styles:

  • Work preference: Different people have different work preferences. Some people are better thinkers and performers alone, while some prefer the company of team members in brainstorming.
  • Spontaneity level: There are unexpected situations in the office that you need to attend to, and your level of spontaneity can affect your productivity.
  • Accustomed to routine: We often like to stay on track with the routine we develop, and sometimes adapting to changes can cause us to lose focus on productivity.
  • Personality type: No matter what your personality is, your productivity is at stake. Different situations in the workplace may cause your personality to intervene. 
  • Your perspective: You must balance seeing things in the big picture or small details in a workplace.

Top 5 productivity styles and their impact on workspace

Now that you know the basics of productivity. Let’s proceed to the different productivity styles in the workplace.

Productivity style 1: The planner

Key characteristics: Detail-oriented, organized, punctual, conscientious

If there’s one person who organizes everything, from meetings to gatherings, it is the Planner. 

planner productivity style
Source: Buckets Blog

The Planner is your go-to person if you want to know the bits and pieces of what’s going on in your organization. They fully understand who is in charge of what, when, and by what deadline. 

Organizers, to-do notes, calendars, and agile project management tools are their handy tools. As much as possible, they want to stay on top of everything. They are very reliable project managers.

You might think of this productivity style as nerdy, but it is helpful in different work situations. Whenever you need to locate an old file for work, they can get it for you since they are super organized with their files.

Although they are valuable assets to the team, they sometimes need help carrying out their painstakingly designed plans. They form an unstoppable team when combined with other capable team members.

Below are the best practices to achieve the Planner type of productivity style:

  • Staying on time.
  • Assigning deadlines and responsibilities for each stage of the project.
  • Considering time blocking to stay productive throughout the day.
  • Ensuring to take down notes.
  • Setting up collaborative team calendars in scheduling meetings.

How the planner impacts workplace

Here’s a situational example to better understand how the Planner affects a workspace.

Robert is a project manager and has a detail-oriented approach. His attention to detail led to zero to a few mistakes, and he is considered a reliable point person in the team. He keeps track of all the tasks for the project in task management software and asks the group to update it daily.

He implements a strict workflow in his team, which slows down the process but garners positive results. He sticks with a deadline and labels tasks depending on their priority level for time management purposes.

A project manager must stay organized by listing his daily tasks. In this way, he can see which ones are still pending, ongoing, and already done. It saves him a lot of time with the process he does daily.

Workspace designs and tools for the planner

Every employee needs tools that will simplify their work routine. Planners need multi-tasking software to maintain their productivity level. 

Some ideal software for this style is a cloud application that allows them to keep all their notes and meeting schedules shared across all team members. It is software that will help the team stay productive even during busy hours.

Regarding workspace design, desks, and cubicles are good for them since they love things organized.

In addition, employees can also offer custom canvas prints for them to utilize for deco and organization. You can check out Wallpics to learn more about it. The better the workspace design, the better such employees work.

Style 2: The visualizer

Key characteristics: Intuitive, synthesizing, holistic, integrating, big-picture thinking

Contrary to the qualities of the Planner, the Visualizer could be more organized. They always try to find creative solutions in everything they do, which is good. 

The visualizer
Source: Buckets Blog

The Visualizer is the catalyst of change, always looking for progressive solutions. They are not big fans of digging up small details but always look into the big picture of things instead. Visual aids, mood boards, and stacks of files are often with them as they are always on the go to brainstorm new ideas. 

They have a knack for connecting pieces of information and can be considered too creative. You will find them contemplating their vision for the task or project their handling. If there’s someone in the group who initiates the brainstorming sessions and uses brainstorming tools quite often, it is the Visualizers. They love to dump their fresh ideas in group chats to avoid missing out on them.

The downside to their creative zest for work is they might not work alongside Planners and Prioritizers. Their cluttered ideas might be too much for these types.

Here are the best practices for becoming a Visualizer productivity style:

  • Being innovative.
  • Practicing creative problem-solving.
  • Being open-minded to ideas.
  • Having a big-picture point of view.

How the visualizer impacts workplace

Check out this situational example to better understand how the Visualizer impacts the workplace.

Alex is a general manager of a retail business. She has an idea-oriented work style and uses an innovative approach to level up the company. She always keeps a notebook and pen with her to list ideas for the business.

Alex is ready to devise a creative solution for staffing problems when conflicts arise. It’s good that she is surrounded by detail-oriented staff since they can help her focus on the big picture of the business outcome without overlooking small and essential things.

Being the general manager of the business requires Alex to always be open to new ideas. 

Workspace designs and tools for the Visualizer

Dumping ideas must be convenient for Visualizers. It only takes a little to maintain their Improvisers can adapt to any project management, collaboration software, or tools since they are flexible and used to change. They are often anywhere and often available whenever you need them for help. Simply put, Improvisers combine the four productivity styles depending on how you need them to be.

Style 3: The most underrated productivity style; Minimalist

Key characteristics: Analytical, fact-oriented, efficient, realistic, logical

When you hear the word minimal, the first thing that comes to mind is less and neat. It’s true, but being a minimalist also means exerting more efficiency in work.

A Minimalist is someone who moves with decisiveness. Every decision one makes is to create an efficient process to achieve a superb outcome.

You’ll think of a professional and organized desk when you see a minimalist. They are not fond of excessive decorations, which distract them from thinking clearly. What’s good about Minimalists is they are determined to achieve great results.

They also love to dig deep into data. A Minimalist is a goal-oriented person that drives the team to prioritize what’s important.

However, they can be a pain to some members as they might exhibit control during the process. Sometimes, they need to be more competitive to take advantage of what others think about their work style.

Here are the best practices to become a Minimalist yourself in the workplace:

  • Knowing the level of importance of each project and task.
  • Solving and analyzing problems.
  • Being decisive, consistent, and goal-oriented.

How the minimalist impacts workplace

Read this situational example to help you understand better how a Minimalist impacts a workplace.

Lauren is a brand manager who uses logic in her work. She is focused on gathering results and evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign. 

She always expects her team to work as fast and efficiently as her, so she wastes no time in task execution. Delays are the biggest obstacle for her, and she intends to remove them by prioritizing tasks accordingly.

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As much as possible, she implements a workflow with fewer steps to promote more efficiency within the team. Lauren is fearless in speaking her mind and sometimes without regard to the recipient, especially when areas require improvement.

Removing distractions and delays is their expertise, which is helpful in a fast-paced environment. However, sometimes, they tend to value speed over excellence.

Workspace designs and tools for the minimalist

A Minimalist needs to see which tasks require higher priority so they can immediately focus on them.

Cloud collaboration software like Nifty works best for them since they can easily place tasks according to their priority level using a milestone:

In this way, it becomes a motivation to work as quickly as possible.

A clean and organized desk is a fitting description for a workspace design for Minimalists.

Productivity style 4: The collaborator

Key characteristics: Collaborative, team-oriented, supportive, expressive

If there’s a team player that beats all team players in a company, it is, without a doubt, the collaborator.

collaborator productivity style
Source: Buckets Blog

They are big fans of collaborative work and never waver when it comes to team meetings. Collaborators are prominent communicators, too, as they know how to express their ideas while considering others’ emotions.

A welcoming desk and a schedule filled with meetings are keynotes of a person who is a Collaborator. Since they are very expressive, they often set meetings with the team, which could be in the form of an email. While time management is not their strength, they understand how every decision affects the team.

Below are the best practices for achieving the Collaborator style of productivity:

  • Having a strong intuition.
  • Being a good teacher.
  • Becoming persuasive.
  • Being aware of others’ emotions.
  • Practicing effective communication.

How the collaborator impacts workplace

In this situational example, you will understand better how the Collaborator impacts a workplace.

Paulo is a retail assistant in a shoe store and practices effective communication in his workplace. He shows inexplicable customer service skills. He is always willing to help and listen to their concerns, which makes them excellent at uplifting team spirits. Even with customers, he shows patience in assisting them.

They are good team players because they always show camaraderie in the workplace. Their positive attitude at work makes everything more accessible, even during the busiest times.

But what slows down their progress is their excessive involvement with people. They take too much responsibility for others which hinders their professional growth.

Workspace designs and tools for the collaborator

Since they are always the headstart for huddles or meetings, they require tools that will be convenient to meet with everyone, even in remote locations. 

A video communication application is perfect for their work routine as they love to set up meetings. It makes everyone in the team involved and ensures seamless collaboration.

Moreover, by integrating a reliable video-to-text converter, the application allows team members to easily refer back to important discussion points and action items, making remote work even more efficient and productive.

They usually have a welcoming desk or office since they want others to feel free to communicate with them. 

Style 5: The Improviser

Key characteristic: Multi-tasker, efficient

There is always one person in the team who works like three people at once. 

If you are this person, then you might be an Improviser. Four different productivity styles are discussed above, and what connects them all is being a multi-tasker.

The Improviser
Source: Buckets Blog

Adapting to a fast-paced and changing work environment can be challenging. But some people are skilled in it.

Improvisers know when to adjust things in the different project stages. They know how to remedy situations that are bound to fall out since they know that different project stages require different productivity strategies.

Here are some best practices Improvisers are known for:

  • Being adaptable.
  • Practicing multi-tasking.
  • Being quick-witted.

How the improviser impacts workplace

An Improviser impacts the workplace in such a way that they can speed up the work process with their quick wit.

For example, if there are several deadlines ahead of the team, an Improviser will think of the quickest possible way to finish the deadlines fast. If things need adjustment, they will do it to reach the assigned schedule. 

Unfortunately, Improvisers can only go so far when stretched too thin in a workplace. They are prone to burnout due to their excessive work efforts.

Workspace designs and tools for the improvisers

Improvisers can adapt to any project management, collaboration software, or tools since they are flexible and used to change. They are often anywhere and often available whenever you need them for help. Simply put, Improvisers combine the four productivity styles depending on how you need them to be.

How to identify different work styles for better productivity

Most people are eager to learn their work style to achieve productivity—some resort to using tools to ease the process.

How to identify different Productivity Styles

You might be looking for a list of best appointment scheduling software examples that will make things easier for you at work. Nevertheless, the main goal is always to achieve an excellent output.

There are different areas of your professional life you can pay attention to determine your work style. Check out the tips below:

1. See how well you communicate with others

Assess yourself on how you communicate with your team members. Being a good listener makes you a Collaborator of the team. If you prefer emails, you are the Planner of the organization.

2. Check how you handle conflict

Evaluate yourself when resolving conflicts within the team or between you and a co-worker. If you want it done quickly, then you are a Minimalist. But if you want to assess the significant parts of the company, you are a Visualizer.

3. Think about how you plan your day

How you organize your day is a vital sign of your preferred working environment and potential work style. You can have a Planner style if you painstakingly schedule every detail of your day in advance. If you do it linearly, then you are a Minimalist. 

4. Do personality tests

Trying out tests to see your personality is one of the first options you can do. Since they are popular these days, they also easily unlock new knowledge about oneself. Myers-Briggs Type Index and Winslow Personality Profile are only some of the tests you can try.

Define your productivity style for a progressive workspace

There is no one-size-fits-all productivity style. Everyone has his or her own pace of adapting to the workplace, which is okay.

No matter what productivity style you look forward to, evaluating whether it will improve your work process or slow it down is best. Your work performance is still what matters.

Whether you are a Planner, Minimalist, Visualizer, Collaborator, or Improviser, your insights matter to your team. Adapting to different work situations will be tested depending on your productivity style.

It is better to balance the pros and cons of these productivity styles, as they can either make or break your work process in the long run. 

No matter what productivity style you use, Nifty has something for everyone. Make the next move! Try Nifty for free. 🙋


What are the things employees need to stay productive?

Managers can employ different ways to stay productive at work, like giving out incentives, listening to their concerns, learning what tools they need, and assessing areas of improvement.

What are the common factors that impact workspace productivity?

Work environment, career opportunities, processes, pay structure, and employee wellness are some of the things that can impact productivity at work. Upscale all these, and employees will feel more motivated than ever to work for the team.

Why do employees lose productivity at work?

Employees lose productivity at work because of the following reason:

  • Bad management
  • lack of community
  • poor communication
  • lack of recognition. 

These primary concerns require resolution as soon as possible to avoid losing high-performing employees.

How to stay organized in a busy workspace?

When you are busy, your mind is occupied with many things. To stay organized in the middle of a busy day, you can try the following: 

  • Create a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish within the day or week.
  • Find a pattern to your workflow to stay on track and maintain focus. 
  • Practice proper time management to avoid wasted hours of work and unproductivity.

Why is brainstorming important in an organization?

Most ideas are formed from the collective suggestions of people from the organization. Brainstorming sessions help identify specific messaging ideas better to communicate the goals and benefits of the projects.

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