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Research Reveals Importance of Intuition in Workplace: How Are Your Powers of Perception?

MENLO PARK, Calif., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Does intuition play a role in today's workplace? According to a new OfficeTeam study, it can. In fact, 88 percent of administrative professionals surveyed recently said they often make decisions based on gut instinct. OfficeTeam has developed a research guide, Business Sense: Putting Your Intuition to Work, and quiz to help workers identify their intuition style. Both are available at

The research guide contains data from a study developed by OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) that includes responses from more than 3,500 administrative professionals and 1,300 senior managers in the United States and Canada.

Key Findings

  • Eighty-eight percent of administrative professionals said they often make decisions based on gut instinct.
  • Nearly all (97 percent) of support staff believe anticipating their manager's needs is important to their career growth, and 94 percent of executives agree.
  • When asked about the most effective way to anticipate the needs of someone at work without directly asking him or her, 32 percent of administrative professionals said they use deductive reasoning (e.g., moving conflicting appointments when a supervisor's meeting is rescheduled). One in four (25 percent) of those polled look for behavioral patterns when making decisions (e.g., printing out a flight boarding pass in advance for the boss because he is typically running late).  

"By drawing on their powers of perception, professionals can often identify potential workplace dilemmas and address them before they become serious issues," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "Any manager will tell you that having an assistant who anticipates his or her needs and offers solutions without being asked is virtually indispensable."

OfficeTeam identifies five intuition styles and offers tips for maximizing each one at work:

Intuition type

Advice for this intuition style

Analysts make decisions based on careful research and past experience. 

Don't discount your gut feelings. Combining your critical-thinking abilities with what your instincts tell you can be beneficial.   

Observers depend most heavily on visual cues to guess what others may want without being told.  

Gather additional clues by going beyond what meets the eye. Talk to coworkers to get more information. 

Questioners rely mainly on posing direct inquiries to determine their next move.

Tune into nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions for additional insight.

Empathizers are able to identify with colleagues' problems and help them find solutions.


Be careful not to rely completely on emotions when making decisions. Back up your assumptions with research and analysis.

Adapters employ multiple intuition strategies, sometimes using their powers of observation while other times asking direct questions.

Don't expect coworkers to read your mind just because you're good at anticipating the needs of others. Communicate with colleagues openly and often.

To learn more about these intuition styles and put your abilities to the test, visit

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 315 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

About the International Association of Administrative Professionals

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is the world's largest association for administrative support staff, with more than 550 chapters and approximately 22,000 members and affiliates worldwide. For more information, visit

SOURCE OfficeTeam

For further information: Cynthia Kong, +1-650-234-6298,