Open office? Offer alternatives for the introverted worker

The open office concept may benefit the extroverted worker at the expense of the introverted one.

If you have been in business for any length of time, you may come across a push to enhance inclusion in your organization. Working with differences and enhancing diversity of the workplace are vital to engagement and the strength of the organization.

If you have been in business for any length of time, you may come across a push to enhance inclusion in your organization. Working with differences and enhancing diversity of the workplace are vital to engagement and the strength of the organization.

Recognizing and embracing differences are important to the health, bottom line and growth of any organization. Embracing differences in personality, work style, experience and more helps increase respect and decrease conflict among employees.

One important part of differences and diversity that many businesses overlook is the real and tangible difference between introverted and extroverted employees.

Being an introvert does not necessarily mean shy. Conversely, being extroverted doesn’t necessarily mean outgoing and gregarious.

Where a person stands on the extroverted-introverted spectrum is more about how a person gets energized.

Extroverts tend to prefer activities that put themselves around a lot of people and situations that have a lot of external stimuli. Extroverts tend to crave activity and seek action to fulfill this need.

Introverts, on the other hand, prefer quieter surroundings with time set aside to contemplate in silence. They generally prefer situations with fewer external stimuli.

If introverts are in situations that have too much action, they can feel overwhelmed and overstimulated. According to Belle Cooper from Fast Company, a resource for businesses, “For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping and as nourishing as eating.”

The way each of these groups approaches its work, handles challenges and collaborates differs greatly.

Many companies are set up and designed to accommodate extroverts, leaving many introverts out in the cold.

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