The 4 Profiles of Resistance to Remote & Flexible Work

By Marcelo Barbosa

In transitioning to remote and flexible work models, resistance among leaders, managers, and employees is common. Identifying the different profiles of resistance can help address their concerns and implement effective strategies for acceptance of new modalities of work. Here are the four main profiles of people who tend to resist or deny remote and flexible work.

1. Well-Informed with Hidden Agendas

This group consists of individuals who have extensive knowledge about the benefits and challenges of remote work. However, they have personal interests that lead them to oppose this modality of work. For example, they may lobby to concentrate the expenditure of resources resulting from work in a certain location for economic interests, such as local businesses and companies with investments in commercial real estate that benefit from the physical presence of workers. Remote work maintains the origin of the source of resources related to the execution of work, such as salaries and rent payments, but allows for the decentralization of their destination. This shift in the destination of resources mobilizes economic agents, especially those who feel threatened by a potential loss.

Group Characteristics:

  • Hold clear information about remote work and its implications.
  • Use their knowledge to promote personal agendas.
  • Act subtly to discredit or undermine the implementation of telework.

Strategies to Address the Group:

  • Promote transparency in communications and decision-making motivations.
  • Demonstrate the organizational benefits of remote work.
  • Prevent personal interests from harming organizational objectives.
  • Ensure that conflicts of interest do not contaminate decision-making.

2. Resisters for Personal or Cultural Reasons

Some managers and employees resist remote and flexible work due to personal preferences, habits, or ingrained cultural norms. They may value face-to-face interaction, the routine of going to the office, or simply being accustomed to direct and visible supervision.

Group Characteristics:

  • Prefer the routine and social interaction of the office environment.
  • Have difficulty adapting to new technologies or work methods.
  • Believe that physical presence is essential for productivity.

Strategies to Address the Group:

  • Promote awareness campaigns about the benefits of remote and flexible work.
  • Offer training and support to adapt to the new routine.
  • Encourage the maintenance of social interactions through periodic in-person meetings.

3. Generational and Technological

This profile includes individuals, often older, who face difficulties with the technology required for remote and flexible work. Additionally, there may be a generational gap, where different attitudes and values about work affect the acceptance of new modalities of work.

Group Characteristics:

  • Encounter difficulties with technological tools.
  • Have a traditional view of work, associating it with the physical office space.
  • Feel insecure or uncomfortable with the change in dynamics.

Strategies to Address the Group:

  • Promote digital inclusion and gradual adaptation.
  • Provide continuous technological training.
  • Facilitate access to technical support resources.

4. Underinformed or Misinformed

These people simply have not had access to adequate information about the benefits and effective practices of remote and flexible work. They may base their opinions on misconceptions or lack of updated knowledge.

Group Characteristics:

  • Lack of understanding of how remote and flexible work can be effectively implemented.
  • Base their opinions on limited experiences or outdated information.
  • May be influenced by unfounded rumours or negative perceptions.

Strategies to Address the Group:

  • Implement communication and education programs about remote and flexible work.
  • Share case studies and success stories.
  • Establish channels for feedback and clarification of doubts.


To address resistance to remote and flexible work, it is essential to recognize the diversity of reasons behind the opposition and address them with specific and targeted strategies. It is important to note that people may have characteristics of more than one group. However, by understanding the nuances of each group and implementing measures that meet their needs and concerns, organizations can facilitate the transition to new modalities of work and reap its benefits more effectively and harmoniously.