IT Best Practices

Make Your Work Environment Work for Introverts and Extroverts

Leadership articles are starting to go a little overboard with the virtues of introverts at work, perhaps because they might have been marginalized in the past. It is time to place introverts and extroverts on equal footing. In an article for IT Business Edge, Don Tennant shares some insights from Appirio’s senior vice president of human resources, Steven Pruden, about what can be done to create a work environment that makes everyone happy.

Fiddling with the Volume Knob

In the first place, Appirio has a particularly virtual workforce, with a lot of remote working. Thus, the highly introverted employees can work remotely, avoid big lunches and claustrophobic meetings, and produce their best work in a quiet place. Developers especially sometimes need to become totally engrossed in their work to be at their most effective, and working in a noisy or interruption-prone environment can be costly. Remote opportunities work around these productivity risks.

When it comes to keeping introverts and extroverts happy under the same roof though, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, as always, a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. Second, you need to learn how to address different work styles simultaneously:

If you’re an extroverted person, you’re going to be most productive when you are working in a group, where things are maybe a little bit more chaotic. Your creativity is drawn toward that — you can bounce ideas off of people, and it becomes very productive. If you’re introverted, you need the exact opposite. You need a safe place to get in the zone and think. It needs to be quiet, and you need concentrated work to be done. That is something that is very tough to do in tech, because it flies against everything that tech does when designing an employment workspace, or when designing the corporate culture.

Lastly, when it comes to digital communications infrastructure, what is most important is ensuring that people are able to easily talk to the players who are most relevant to their work. Sometimes, using Google Hangouts or GoToMeeting will be a more effective and faster solution than following a rigid formal process. For instance, VPNs are necessary at times, but not every single time.

You can view the original article here:

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