As of July 19th, Coronavirus restrictions in England have been lifted and the ‘work from home’ message has been removed. But before you issue a ‘back to work’ memo, consider how you can promote comfortable working environment for your whole team. Whether they are introverts or extroverts.
Defining introverts and extrovertsFrom a psychological standpoint, introversion is so much more than just being shy and secluded. While an extrovert doesn’t mean you’re bold and brilliant 24/7. According to Psychology Today,introverts gain energy from reflection and lose energy in social gatherings. They seek out and enjoy opportunities for reflection and solitude and they often think better by themselves. Introverts prefer to observe first and act later. Whereas extroverts recharge or draw energy from being with other people. They tend to search for experiences that allow them to interact with other individuals as much as possible. Generally speaking, extroverts feel comfortable in groups and enjoy social situations. But that’s not to say an introvert won’t have some extroverted characteristics, and vice versa. In fact, we all find ourselves somewhere on the spectrum and our behaviours can change depending on the situation and social cues.
Helping you team return to workWe’ve spoken before about the well-researched benefits of having a diverse workforce. But with a diverse cohort of workers comes a diverse set of working styles and preferences. Which is why it’s important to understand your team, have an insight into their preferred ways of working and be flexible to meet individuals’ varying needs. Here are some points to consider:
Give back the autonomy
Provide documents in advance
Encourage both speaking and listening
Have a mix of social and private spaces
Switch up the workday
What camp does WPG fall into?
Here at WPG, our team is a real mix when it comes to introverts and extroverts.
Melissa Washbrook, Psychologist, considers herself an introvert. Melissa says: “I love working from home as I find I can get work done much quicker and more efficiently.”
While Senior Consultant Ann-Marie Smith refers to herself as an extrovert. “I’m energised being around people,” Ann-Marie says. “I like making broad connections, which is harder to achieve working from home.”
One of the key learnings we can take from last year is that when employees are left to their own devices, they manage themselves well, without productivity being impacted.
So, when considering a return to the office, it’s important to take these new learnings with us – rather than automatically reverting to our pre-pandemic ways of working.