#SaveTheIntroverts: Four Trends Making Offices Less Inclusive of Introverts

Quiet Man.jpg

Even though introverts bring a lot to the workplace like creativity, focus, grit, and leadership, they’re often expected to act more like extroverts at work. As an introvert, the following trends make me (and your introverted employees) want to crawl into a hole or, worse yet, find a new place to work.

Open Offices:

An open office is hell for introverts and recent research supports that they’re not that great for other employees either. The problem is, we can’t get anything done with all those distractions. So, if you have an open office, give your introverts a little space of their own, allow remote working occasionally, and let us wear headphones.

 

Constant Interruptions:

Although I see the benefits of instant messaging for quick questions, the constant interruptions make deep work almost impossible. Encourage your introverts to turn off their IM if they’re trying to get something done or need time to recharge. You can also minimize the small talk, call them if something is urgent and respect off-hours messaging.

 

Lack of Deep Relationships:

I don’t feel comfortable unless I have genuine friendships with a few coworkers, but this is becoming harder and harder as people rely more heavily on screens to communicate. Encouraging coworkers to have one-on-one conversations with others about shared personal interests is not bad for productivity. Not to mention, it helps with conflict resolution, bridging silos and retention.    

 

Large Group “Team-Building”:

I’m not the only one who gets miffed when a company spends 75% of their “culture-building” budget on their holiday party. Research shows that only 36 percent of employees actually enjoy it. Please, please, please get creative with those funds and support more small group activities throughout the year where introverts feel comfortable. If you were to plan a bunch of smaller activities that actually interested us, we would be so grateful.

 While these trends have value, please consider your introverts when implementing them.

Rumblesum is a mobile platform that builds more inclusive cultures through competitions, photo sharing, games, in-person activities and interest-group management.

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