Today, 2 January, is World Introvert Day.
For many introverts, the workplace can cause health and safety problems, particularly affecting mental health, and with it productivity.
Open plan offices, for example, are often far too noisy for an introvert. The louder the office, the more disruptive the work environment becomes, resulting in a less efficient introvert. Many introverts prefer smaller workplaces or quiet areas.
Introverts also have a dislike for brainstorming sessions and compulsory meetings, especially if they are impromptu or unplanned. Meeting agendas that are rigorously stuck to allow introverts to plan answers without being put on the spot. Introverts need to feel in control.
Where extroverts often jump in with solutions quickly, introverts need time to think, so when planning meetings or decision sessions take place, build in time for reflection.
Introverts also find socialising, at company nights out or social events highly uncomfortable in many cases, finding it difficult to fit in and socialise with extrovert colleagues. Introverts like peace and quiet to get on with things.
Introverts also have in-built self doubt, which can become a major problem for them. They can feel distant and unconnected.
Introverts make up around 40% of a workforce. They can be natural leaders, such as Bill Gates, but they are often misunderstood or undervalued by extroverts. They bring quiet focus, good observation skills, and enlightening thoughts to the workplace.
Good management takes all this into account.
Happy World Introvert Day.