Remote working has long been touted as the future of employment. But while the numbers who work at home have been steadily increasing over the years, recent health events have accelerated the trend suddenly and drastically.
For many working at home offers welcome benefits, including extra freedom and relief from the commute. For others, the situation isn’t quite such a happy one. Extroverts, in particular, are likely to find the overnight transformation of their working environment difficult to deal with.
What is an Extrovert?
The popular view of an extrovert is of someone who’s highly outgoing, energetic, and fun to be around. While there’s plenty of truth in that, the reality is a little subtler. Extroverts gain their energy and motivation from being around others, in contrast to introverts who need time alone to recharge.
Extroverts tend to do their best work in a team-like environment, where they can bounce ideas around, be inspired by interaction, and generally achieve results by working with others. This approach means a busy office environment is ideal, offering plenty of social stimulation outside the narrow task at hand.
How Does Home Working Affect Extroverts?
Bearing this in mind, home working presents genuine difficulties for extroverts when face-to-face interaction is much more limited.
The more solitary environment can leave extroverts feeling bored, lacking in focus, and sluggish. In more extreme cases, the low mood can descend into loneliness and even anxiety. Clearly, none of these effects are likely to encourage effectiveness or productivity.
How Can Extroverts Work From Home?
However, it’s possible for extroverts to adapt to the conditions of home working. It is possible to keep up a high-performance corporate culture at home. This enables extroverts to fully function by adapting and operate outside an automatic conditioned environment. Changes in both environment and approach can help significantly, such as:
– Focus on proven productivity-boosting measures, such as creating a dedicated work area, dressing for work, and limiting the distracting temptations of social media. These changes might not solve the underlying solitude problem, but they’ll improve motivation and productivity in the meantime.
– Use video conferencing wherever possible rather than email or phone. This provides more stimulating interaction and includes non-verbal clues, which extroverts in particular thrive on.
– Have a genuine lunch break, ideally using it to get out and interact with people in person.
– Organize evenings and weekends to include plenty of re-energizing social activities. If meeting people in person isn’t possible, then video calls can again come to the rescue.
– For a slightly left-field solution, taking up meditation can provide the mental tools to embrace silence and solitude more readily.
Consider a Shift in Career Emphasis
All of the above measures can help an extrovert through the transition to home working. However, with this style of working likely to continue indefinitely, it may be time to consider a career change that enables greater interaction as part of the average day.
This doesn’t need to be a complete upheaval, but rather a shift in emphasis. For example, many finance careers are based around spreadsheet work but are conducted in the extrovert-friendly environment of a busy office.
Changing tack to a career that remains in finance, but which has a much greater emphasis on advising clients, can provide the interaction that’s vital for extroverts, even if it’s carried out via video. If this sounds like an attractive step to take, hiring a professional resume writing service can give you a head start for when opportunities arise.
It seems that working from home is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It may not be the ideal situation for extroverts, but with a little thought and preparation it’s not an insurmountable problem.
Written by Emma Taylor solely for keenalignment.com