Woman using iPhone and laptop in a rented office

The 4 personality types you’ll encounter in every office job

Rombourne Blog

Sure, you may have held a variety of different job roles over the years, but everyone who’s worked in an office or two will know there are certain types of people that you’ll meet in every single one.

In fact, even if you’re now working in an entirely different sector to the ones you did previously, there’s a high possibility that you’ll encounter the office gossip that just loves to divulge the latest goings-on over a coffee, or the silent type that seemingly never rocks up to the office without their headphones in tow.

However, while it’s one thing to be able to identify the main office personalities (and who knows, you may even fit into one of these clichés yourself!), it’s also very useful to know the best ways deal with them. After all, everyone has their good and bad points.

David Bowen, Director at Bowen Eldridge Recruitment, says:

“For employers, hiring people with a variety of different personality types is vital to ensuring you have a vibrant and diverse workforce. However, it’s also important for both employers and employees to understand each person’s individual personality type and working style; adapting to these will help to avoid conflict, as well as ensure a happier, more open and more productive working environment for everyone.”

Here are the 4 types of people you’ll encounter in every office job, and how to spot them…



people drinking coffee and tea in their officemeetingThe office gossip

As the name suggests, the office gossip is the one you go to if you want to know pretty much anything about anyone. This is because they somehow always know the latest gossip, and are always happy to share it with you- as well as many other people in the office.

Although it’s natural to be drawn to the gossiper as they have the best stories (in fact, this makes them the perfect antidote for waking you up on a dreary Monday morning), there are a few things you need to keep in mind before entertaining them.

Firstly, while its all fun and games to have a good gossip during lunch, they can be a bit of a distraction during working time. This can impact your productivity (if you let them), plus no one wants to be made guilty by association! Our advice? Make sure they know when you’re too busy for a chat.

We’d also be wary of discussing your weekend antics with them in too much detail; after all, we know they love to share!

Where to find them: In most parts of the office, though they’ll often be chatting animatedly in any of these locations: the kitchen, next to the coffee machine (or watercooler), or the breakout area.
Party trick: Playing matchmaker, of course!
Coffees consumed per day: ☕☕☕☕☕ – they spend a lot of time at the coffee machine
Lunch envy-o-meter: 🍝🍝🍝 – who has time for a good lunch when there’s chatting to do?
Fruit count per day: 🍓🍓🍓 – where there’s a fruit bowl, there’s a gossiping opportunity
Briggs Myer personality: Most likely to be ENTJ, ESTP or ENFP.


The fitness fanatic

You know their calendar is filled to the brim with gym classes, they seem to always be up-to-date with the latest fitness and healthy eating trends (which they’re all too happy to share with the rest of the team), and you’re pretty sure they’re the person keeping MyProtein and Sweaty Betty in business with the amount of stuff they have delivered to the office each week.

Always bounding into the office with a smile on their face (and sometimes with a yoga mat under their arm), the fitness fanatic is the person everyone goes to for inspiration to finally hit the gym and stick to their New Year’s resolution of eating healthy.

Let’s face it, although most of us can’t comprehend how they can have so many energy in the morning, we must admit we’re enviable of how much better their homemade lunches look to our shop brought, mayo-heavy sandwiches…

Where to find them: Practicing their squats in the breakout area, or preparing a protein shake in the kitchen each morning.
Party trick: Holding yoga poses; think downward dog or handstands.
Coffees consumed per day: ☕☕☕ – these are mainly of the decaf variety.
Lunch envy-o-meter: 🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝 – you don’t quite know what quinoa is, but you now want it.
Fruit count per day: 🍓🍓🍓🍓🍓 – they’ve just got to get their 5 a day!
Briggs Myer personality: Most likely to be INTJ, ISTP or ENTP.


Earphones lying on a desk in a rented office
The chronic headphone wearer

Often described as a ‘bit of a wallflower’, the chronic headphone wearer tends to keep to themselves and (quite obviously) is never too far away from a music-streaming source. Put simply, they have quite the intense friendship with Spotify.

Great for productivity, the resident headphone wearer is happy to shut themselves off from the typical office distractions (refer to the ‘the office gossip’) in order to get things done- and that they certainly do. The only downside of this? Catching their attention may require a wave across the room (or two).

Though not a big partaker in general office chitchat, be careful not to mistake their quietness for them not wanting to interact with the team; they probably just need to get things done. In fact, many quiet types in the office are great conversationalists when they’re out of the office!

Where to find them: Working hard at their desk with one or both headphones firmly planted in their ear(s).
Party trick: their varied music knowledge; they’re one to have during the music round at a pub quiz.
Coffees consumed per day: ☕☕☕☕they need a lot of caffeine to fuel their day.
Lunch envy-o-meter: 🍝 – it’s from Tesco. Sad times.
Fruit count per day: 🍓🍓 – it all depends on the selection in each day’s supermarket lunch deal.
Briggs Myer personality: Most likely to be ESTJ, ISTJ or INTJ.


Woman using iPhone and laptop in a rented officeThe overachiever

Whether you love their enthusiasm or just find them too tricky to keep up with, the overachiever can be easily identified by their prompt arrival to Monday morning meetings (more often than not with a freshly prepared coffee in hand, ready and raring to go).

As this suggests, they somehow always seem to be on time, while many of us find ourselves making a mad dash to the office each morning. They’re also always the first person to offer to help with projects (even if no one expected them to); and though you must admit they have a lot of great ideas, you do wish they’d sit back and give you a chance to shine sometimes.

Though the qualities of the overachiever have their pros and cons, we say embrace them and let their motivation rub off on you! Just think of all the extra things you can achieve if you just work together.

Where to find them: Eagerly waiting for the meeting to start (often before most of the attendees have shown up to the office).
Party trick: take your pick; they’ve mastered most of them!
Coffees consumed per day: ☕☕☕☕ – for all the strategy meetings they’re involved in, of course.
Lunch envy-o-meter: 🍝🍝🍝🍝 – the overachiever doesn’t do things by half- even lunch.
Fruit count per day: 🍓🍓🍓🍓 – they’re trying to keep up with the fitness fanatic.
Briggs Myer personality: Most likely to be ENTP, INFJ or INTP.