Introverts and extroverts — two words that I have seen quite a lot lately. But what do they actually mean? An introvert is a person characterized by worry over with his or her own thoughts and feelings while an extrovert is concerned principally with the physical and social environment. The former tends to be shy and quiet whereas the latter is outgoing and talkative. We now have a division of two very different types of temperaments that work in two dissimilar ways. So how do we design our office to suit one or both personality types?
For the Introvert
With collaborative workspaces all the rage because of technology giants like Google and Skype, many offices have scrambled to join in on the fun. However, the open floor plan design is not always conducive for everyone in the office. While the percentage of collaborations may increase, the amount of focus and productivity may decrease, especially for those who need a serene and quiet place to concentrate like the introvert.
If your office is full of introverts, a cubicle or paneling system might be the right choice to go with when re-designing your space. Some paneling systems are actually noise cancelling so those who need absolute silence can have it.
For the Extrovert
I have a friend who works in an office where everyone sits at one long conference table, executives and all. He says that the team works hand-in-hand on a lot of projects but they also work on things alone. Most if not all of the co-workers are gregarious and enjoy speaking with each other about work and such. They are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other. Instead of scheduling meetings for powwows, they have them all day long. He finds his job is more enjoyable because he is around people who help to inspire him
More often than not, an office is full of a variety of people of ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, so that means a melting pot of many different personalities. When re-designing your office look at who you’re designing for and what would be the most productive and effective way to use your budget.
If you are set on a collaborative workspace, that’s okay. You can have your cake and eat it too. However, you may have to alter your vision a little bit. Offer small private workspaces where those who need quiet can have it. These quiet rooms don’t have to be assigned to anyone but are there in case someone needs silence to work on a project or take an important phone call. Maybe have a policy that if you wish you listen to music, please use headphones so as to not distract those around you. Compromise is key to having a successful and beneficial office.
Ready to re-design your office? Contact us today for help furnishing and designing a workspace for the introverts and extroverts in your office.