How Personality Impacts Remote Workers in Mainland China: A Qualitative Study

Christopher Van Ham 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 107-122

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The present study identifies and discusses the impact of personality factors on remote workers in China, using a phenomenological methodology to understand participants' lived experiences. The sample population is comprised of Chinese citizens born in China. Data were collected through one-on-one, online semi-structured interviews using WeChat. The interview questions are structured to allow participants to explain personality traits found in productive and unproductive remote workers. In addition, the questions explore traits positively associated with developing trust and how the psychological needs of autonomy, competency, and relatedness impact remote workers. After data collection, the data were analyzed and coded to develop themes used to answer the core research questions. This study’s findings offer benefits to companies using remote workers and employees new to remote work or those aiming to become remote workers since the data collected provides a holistic picture of remote work from actual workers' perspective. The information gathered from the research participants allowed the researcher to determine that one of the most beneficial aspects of remote work is autonomy and the ability to set one's schedule. Confidence directly impacts feelings of competency among remote workers, and relatedness is negatively impacted by being a remote worker because of decreased opportunities for face-to-face interactions.

Keywords: China, personality, remote work, self-determination theory, phenomenology