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5 types of employees in any organisation

By Emma Musgrave | |5 minute read

There are said to be five key employee archetypes in the workplace. Which one are you?

Workplace consultancy Future X Collective has identified five key employee types that live within any workplace, each having its own benefits and shortfalls.

The different archetypes have risen due to the changing nature of work since the pandemic and the ways in which people are adapting to the hybrid workplace.


“Much about the way we have traditionally worked has shifted over the past three years. More than ever, employees want autonomy and the ability to define their own way of work and leverage the available flexibility,” Future X Collective co-founder Angela Ferguson said.

“As a result, we’ve seen new employee archetypes emerge. It is incredibly important that companies understand these archetypes so that they can extract the most out of their team members and create an engaging, productive and healthy work environment for all.”

1. The digital nomad

According to Future X Collective, the first new employee archetype is the remote worker who primarily works from home or another remote location.

This type of employee relishes increased flexibility, reduced commuting time, and the ability to work from anywhere. However, they also face unique challenges, such as feeling isolated from their colleagues and a lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues.

“If your business is worried about remote workers, ask yourself whether your physical workplace is offering genuine, meaningful reasons for people to come in, like collaboration or team brainstorming?” Ms Ferguson said.

“The current workplace post-pandemic is less about ‘command and control’ and more about creating an experience of work that is empowering and authentic for individuals and teams.”

2. The office chameleon

This hybrid worker type includes employees who split their time between working in the office and working from home or another remote location.

They reap the benefits of flexibility and reduced commuting time as experienced by the digital nomad while still being able to collaborate with colleagues in person.

This archetype may face challenges such as managing their work/life balance and finding a comfortable and productive work environment, “with good Wi-Fi, appropriate ergonomics and the right management systems to be able to curate their experience of work”, Future X Collective said.

3. The wanderlust worker

This represents the deskless worker, which includes employees who don’t have a traditional office desk but may work in a variety of different spaces, including remote locations, co-working spaces, or other shared spaces.

According to Future X Collective, deskless workers offer companies increased flexibility, as they can work from a variety of locations, but they also face similar challenges to the hybrid worker, which is finding a space where they can remain focused.

“You may find that the deskless worker flourishes in the ‘third space’, which offers a creative alternative to the home or office environment. This can look like cafes, libraries or parks, anything out of the ordinary that may stimulate the imagination as well as promote health and wellbeing,” Ms Ferguson said.

4. The taskmaster

The fourth new employee archetype is the on-demand worker. As Future X Collective said, this includes employees who work on a project-by-project basis rather than having a traditional full-time job.

“As work becomes more flexible, the appeal of the on-demand worker is attractive. They may work from a variety of locations, including remote and in-person. On-demand workers offer companies increased flexibility, as they can be hired on an as-needed basis, but they also come with their own set of challenges, such as managing their work/life balance and ensuring they have the right technology to be productive while working from different locations,” the group explained.

5. The insight instigator

The fifth and final employee archetype identified by Future X Collective is the knowledge worker.

This includes employees who work primarily with knowledge and information, such as software developers, data scientists, and researchers. Knowledge workers offer companies increased expertise and creativity.

“The knowledge worker faces similar issues around productive technology use and work/life balance as the on-demand worker,” Future X Collective said.