The introvert advantage in the future of work

Introverts are often exhausted in their workplace because many of their colleagues don’t know how to harness the power introversion.

Here’s how managers can create an introvert-friendly workplace:

  • Respect boundaries. It takes up to 23 minutes for a person to regain focus after they’ve been interrupted. Don’t expect people to answer every email or Slack message immediately.
  • Brainstorm alone. Letting people shout ideas at each other in a room sounds like fun. But research shows that if you want to maximize creativity, let people generate ideas by themselves before sharing them in a group. Bonus: Your introverts will be far more comfortable sharing.
  • Shorten meetings. Many introverts, as you can probably guess, are not fans of meetings. Let go of the idea that the entire office has to be invited to every meeting so that no one feels left out.
  • Don’t force a certain type of communication. The introverts in your office may prefer emails, while the extroverts might enjoy handling business on the phone. Encourage people decide how they want to communicate, like whether to turn their cameras on or off, even if it differs from yours.
  • Provide the option of privacy. Extroverts may love to see everybody all the time, but introverts tend to need privacy. The solution is a flexible work environment that provides silence and private space for introverts, and lively, interactive open space for extroverts.