Understanding the unique ways people work

Understanding workstyles helps understand the unique ways in which people work. Workstyles reflect the diversity of how people work within organizations, affected by both what is expected of them and how they prefer to perform their job.


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People who work together to generate new ideas and connect them to strategy

High Interaction/Strategic Focus

Connectors depend on high levels of interaction to solve problems and create final decisions.   They typically work in a co-located matter with teams of subject matter experts.  Each member has expertise or specific knowledge that they bring to the team.  Workflow is typically self-managed within the team.   This type of work style engages in high concentration work as they interact.  

Some examples of connectors include Managers, Strategic teams, Sr. Leadership teams, Political parties, HR Consultants, and Counseling teams.

To learn more about the Connector workstyle, please click here.

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People who work in teams focused on tactical objectives and deliverables

High Interaction/Tactical Focus

Crews require a significant amount of face-to-face interaction. Their work is largely task based, such as review of data reports and work plans, with focus on immediate response.  Crews spend their time moving back-and-forth between individual tasks and group work coordination. Their work is determined by external conditions that are largely outside their immediate control.

Some examples of Crew include Product delivery teams, Scrum development teams, Traders, Review boards, Web development, and online sales teams      

To learn more about the Crew workstyle, please click here.

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People with deep domain expertise who work alone developing strategic concepts

Low Interaction/Strategic Focus

Masters typically work alone, engaging in strategic work that requires intense concentration for problem solving or ideating. Interaction with others is important to Masters, but most of their time is spent in their own work space. Generally, Masters have a high degree of control over their work and schedule.

Some examples of Master include Visionaries, Writers, Editors, Researchers, Professors, Engineers, Mentors

To learn more about the Master workstyle, please click here.

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People who work mostly alone focused on specific tasks and deliverables

Low Interaction/Tactical Focus

Specialists primarily work alone performing tasks such as data entry and document review.  Most of their time is spent at their own workspace where they can concentrate on the tasks at hand.  Specialists’ work assignments and schedules are largely determined by others.

Some examples of Specialists include Billing clerks, Accounting functions (payable, receivable, etc.), Technicians, Customer contact agents, Call centers, Administrative, Day traders, and Code

To learn more about the Specialist workstyle, please click here.


Our research has led to the development of four Workstyle categories, each containing key differentiating characteristics. Each workstyle has a relationship with two dimensions in the workplace—knowledge and interaction—to make it unique. Knowledge represents the type of thinking in which people engage—from strategic to tactical. Interaction may range from working alone to group collaboration. These are the four workstyle categories:

Understanding work styles can guide the strategy to provide the right resources – space, furniture and equipment – in order to optimize workplace performance.  

Download the Supporting Workstyles for Greater Organizational Success for more in-depth information on workstyles.

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Connector: identifies people who often work in groups to generate new ideas and connect them to strategy 

Crew: identifies individuals who work in teams focused on tactical objectives and deliverables

Master: identifies subject matter experts who primarily work alone to develop and hone strategic concepts

Specialist: identifies people who mostly work alone focused on specific tasks and deliverables



Haworth’s methodology identifies two dimensions that differentiate the four workstyle categories:

identifies the type of thinking people engage in from “Strategic” to “Tactical”

Interaction identifies how people work ranging from “Face-to-Face” to “Solo”

Two other dimensions further define variations within each workstyles.  Those are:

Location identifies where people work ranging from “Fixed” to “Mobile”

Autonomy identifies how much control people have over their work from “Low” to “High”

Haworth’s Integrated Palette provides the opportunity to align work spaces with workstyles in a way that is sensible, manageable and scalable. In addition, our workplace knowledge experts and assessment tools help you identify the most adaptable and durable solutions for your company.

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