Time for a little self analysis. Where do you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale? Do you hunker down in your cubicle with your back to the entrance, or do you hang out by the coffee pot and spend all morning exchanging the latest bits of news? Which personality type would you assume is better suited to joining the virtual workforce and telecommuting from home or the road? If you say the introverts, you're wrong.

Virtual WorkerBucking conventional wisdom, a study reported in BusinessWeek says it's actually the extroverts who make the best unmoored workers.

... it's the employees who chase socialization who thrive in the land of virtual work. The office gabbers. Those who are life of the break-room party. Left on their own, these types of workers are the ones who work closely with clients, chum around with colleagues, and talk it up with bosses. They stay connected no matter where they are. It comes naturally to them. (The researchers) also assumed that mobile workers would tend to be seat-of-the-pants types who could get away with being disorganized scatterbrains. After all, nobody ever had to see their "offices." Again, the truth turned out to be the opposite. Mobile workers are far more organized, personally, than their office-bound counterparts. They have to be on top of their game the whole time.

In the final analysis, it's the shy and disorganized types who should have a seat in the office, where they can get encouragement and support. It's the Type-A extroverts who should be free to fly.

-- Don Willmott