Office Space Planning: Introverts vs. Extroverts
There are many things that contribute to a successful office environment. The question of is it productive, profitable, workable and even enjoyable may arise when considering if you have a successful workspace. While all these things are important, there is one underlying factor that many companies tend to forget. We are all different, we like different things, foods, music, and it is the same for work. We all work differently so tailoring an office layout to better fit the needs of the employees will not only increase the happiness of the team, but also the business.
Now we still deem the saying “you can’t make everyone happy” true, however, there are ways to categorize like traits in the workspace to increase success. Most people fall into the category of being and introvert, extrovert, or both. So, creating a space where both traits feel comfortable is ideal for any office environment.
Understanding Introverts and Extroverts
In order to design an office that appeals to both the introverts and the extroverts that make up your team, you must first understand the differences between these individuals and their counterparts. Right off the bat extroverts may be portrayed as loud, energetic and vivacious; and introverts can seem quiet, shy and anti-social. While this is sometimes the case for the two groups, there are many different aspects that play a role in these traits. Acting on just a few of the common misconceptions of the group set their workers up for failure within the office.
Looking at their personalities when interacting with others outside of work, may be very different than how one might work inside the office. Extroverts tend to do best when they can throw ideas out and build off each other in a team setting. While introverts do some of their most critical thinking when they have alone time where they can reflect. Unlike extroverts, introverts often feel distracted when others are surrounding them talking or working together.
Layouts for Extroverts
Truly examining your team to create a space that builds on everyone’s strengths will give you the best outcome. Capturing the creativity, passion, and excitement that extroverts brings to the office can be done by having several different ways for them to connect. Try to always encourage them to collaborate with other like-minded workers to get some of the best ideas and solutions. To do so, centrally located meeting rooms and collaboration spaces gives the influence that it is recommended and not looked down upon. Incorporating large glass walls with a big conference table will give them enough space to speak with one another without causing to much of a distraction to the rest of the office. If a conference room is not big enough and employees need a desk as well as a place to collaborate, consider investing in the diamond desking system. This allows each person to have their own space while remaining in a group setting.
For smaller group work, offer a smaller area for breakouts such as couches and chairs, rather than a big conference room. In these areas, it encourages employees to stay on task and not to gather around and linger because it is only made for a small number of people. Make sure you take acoustics into consideration, masking any noise that could come from any of the collaboration centers.
Layouts for Introverts
Introverts, on the other hand, prefer working in quiet places. Dedicating a specific quiet area or do not disturb areas can be helpful not only for introverts but also for anyone who is working on a task with a deadline or something that needs their full attention distraction free. Layouts including cubicles or even private office cubicles are great options when creating a more secluded area. Employees could also offer remote work options; this way some employees could work in an area that they feel comfortable and focused.
Even though introverts usually do their best work on their own in the quiet, they still need an area to collaborate when the time arises. These collaboration centers for introverts can resemble the same small stations used for the extroverts as well, or a larger table in a designated space will do just fine too.
Combining the Two
Although the two are different, there is a way to incorporate both in an office without depriving anyone of their needs. So, how can employers plan to achieve a productive workplace with very different styles? Opting for a multi-functional approach with different areas for different kinds of work is the first step. Having a station that is specifically for meetings or collaborations, such as a conference room, while still giving option of private offices or cubicles offers a solution for everyone.
Make sure you don’t forget to add a sound barrier between the two areas, this way your quiet space does not accidently end up with overflow chatter. This can be done by adding in a sapphire or emerald wall system. Your office may not have room for an entire wall system, but you could always add in an acoustical wall or room divider. This works as not only a sound barrier but also can close off spaces.
Tying both introverts and extroverts into one business may seem hard, but it is very beneficial. Each group brings different assets to the table. Creating a space where everyone works in harmony is doable, but it may not be easy. If you’re looking for a professional office design click here. This will guarantee you to get the best layout to suit your company’s needs.