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How To Prevent Assets of Introverts From Getting Lost In the Hybrid Era?

December 27, 2021, 4-min. read
How To Prevent Assets of Introverts From Getting Lost In the Hybrid Era?

Introverts and extroverts. Two groups of people who live and work together and often blend, since not every person is narrowly defined as one or the other. What was the mass transfer to home office like for these groups and what awaits them in this new era –the hybrid era? Does one group or the other have an advantage here?

Generally, it seems that the switch to home office was easier on introverts. While extroverts live externally and need contact with other people in their life, introverts experience a lot more of their life inwardly.

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During the prolonged home office period, extroverts, who are expressive and love in-person meetings and communication because it recharges them, suffered from social isolation and loneliness much more than introverts. For introverts, the ability to work remotely from the calm, familiar environment of their home meant an opportunity to finally show what they can do. While working in the online format, they didn’t experience disruptions from colleagues, they weren’t forced to join empty conversations which they don’t enjoy, and they could focus fully on their work. Also, online communication and especially working via email isn’t as taxing for them.

Introverts sometimes find it difficult to quickly and readily enter fast-paced discussions. They need time and quiet in order to consider their position and formulate their thoughts; only then are they ready to share them. Rather than lively campfire storytellers they are attentive and patient listeners, so they don’t always get a turn in a face-to-face debate. On the other hand, online meetings with pre-established agenda and firm structure, in which they have a specifically defined role, suit them better.

So, what is next? It appears that due to its advantages, home office will always remain a valid method of operating and will forever shed its exclusive status as something reserved only for a few chosen ones. It will become a part of regular ways people work. However, long home-office periods are not suitable for everyone and what is more - innovation, collaboration, and creativity which requires mutual inspiration could suffer, as could loyalty and identification with the company as a whole. For this reason, most people will choose the route of hybrid collaboration where a part of the team is in the office and a part is at home and where everyone will function in these two modes according to a ratio agreed upon in advance.

How To Prevent Assets of Introverts From Getting Lost In the Hybrid Era?

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And it’s probably clear that while extroverts will be looking forward to the personal contact and hustle and bustle of the office, introverts will likely find more enjoyment in their home office days. Actually, it seems that this type of operating is fair to both sides – each of them will get their own way some of the time. However, in order to prevent the assets of introverts from getting lost even when everyone is working together, keep them in mind and:

  • Always let everyone know what’s on the agenda for a meeting so that they can prepare;
  • If preparation is desirable, send materials on time;
  • Direct and facilitate meetings so that everyone, even those team members who are less assertive and outspoken, can truly participate;
  • Don’t rush, always give people time to think topics and responses through;
  • Appreciate their input and thoughts, build their self-confidence and courage to share even incomplete ideas in order to inspire others;
  • Regularly stay in touch with them and ask them about their motivation, their enjoyment of work, as well as other plans. Give them feedback (they will probably not get in touch themselves);
  • Work with question and don’t be afraid of short silences – when it comes to introverts, silence doesn’t always mean that they don’t know what to say or that they don’t have anything to say. It could mean that they are figuring out the best and most accurate response.

And remember that while extroverts like to pull attention to themselves, introverts are quietly changing the world in the meantime.

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