How introversion and extroversion affects remote/hybrid workers

We don’t often consider how personalities, can play into how we ‘do work’ and remote/hybrid working in particular.

A lot of research has been done trying to find out how personality type is linked to engagement with technology and apps. Results are often vague or contradictory. However, there are some useful insights that we can consider. One of these is how introverts and extroverts fair while remote or hybrid working. 

Introverts

We tend to think of introverts as shy and extroverts as outspoken. But, from a psychological point of view, introverts are those who find that interacting with others drains them of energy. They need to spend time on their own to recharge. Someone can be really sociable, and also be an introvert.

They find working in an office really tiring, and find remote working to be easier and less tiring than working in an office. They are more likely to revel in the lower levels of colleague engagement that remote working affords. They may also feel more emotionally and mentally tired when they have to attend extended periods of video calls or have to attend to a constant stream of messages and emails. In the same way as people coming over to the desk on a regular basis, having to keep a messaging window open on their screen all day, can become really tiring.

Hints and Tips:

If you are more of an introvert, try closing your email or messaging apps for chunks of time during the day. If this needs a conversation with your manager and colleagues to let them know that you need blocks of focussed time, then chat to them about when the best time would be for you to do this.

Others quickly get used to you being available via email during specific hours each day, and they often work around it, or they just call if there is anything really urgent that needs dealing with.

Extroverts

In contrast, extroverts tend to get their energy from spending time with others. Someone can be quite shy but also be an extrovert.

Extroverts need regular face-to-face contact and engagement. They are more likely to, therefore, set up online meetings, or go to every online meeting set up by others. They tend to send a lot, and distract themselves with a lot, of emails and messages.

Sending and reading messages substantially reduces overall concentration and productivity levels. Additionally, extroverts are also more likely to be bored, frustrated and often, therefore, more likely to play games, spend time on social media and distract themselves with many tasks at once.

Because they get energy from being around others, they are the ones more likely to want to return to the office full-time and are less likely to understand why others prefer not to.

Hints and Tips:

If you are more of an extrovert, and required to work remotely most of the time, make a conscious effort to allocate time to focus on engaging with others during the day. Simple things like going to a local coffee shop to work for a few hours or going to your local store and chatting with the teller can help.

Doing this may reduce the need to dabble in excessive messaging and emails, playing games and checking out social media. It may also help you become more focussed and productive once you have received the ‘social fix’ you need.

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