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How to make the workplace more inclusive to introverts

Best Practices, Featured

In the workplace, introverts can feel out of place despite their many admirable traits. Offices tend to value more extroverts, the people who are confident in social situations, not afraid to speak, and unafraid of promoting themselves. A workplace will always have a mix of personalities. Thus, employers must implement solutions and actions which allow people to be their authentic selves, so they can become more productive.
These are the different ways a company makes its workplace more inclusive to introverts.

Communicate through writing

Generally, introverts communicate better through typing rather than speaking, as they need more time than extroverts to come up with the ideal response. Employers can think of including work activities that can be digitalized to reduce face-to-face meetings or promote the use of online platforms as an ideal form of communication between colleagues.

Respect boundaries

While all employees have their boundaries, introverts are probably more intent in maintaining them with their colleagues. They need alone time and space to recharge. Their boundaries also make them secure, especially in periods of high stress. Overall, they are more likely to be motivated to perform well in a company that shows regard for personal space.

Respecting the boundaries of introverts means knowing them first. Employers and leaders can generally know right away what they are by asking them what are their stressors, values, and time limits. What parts of the workplace makes them uncomfortable? What are the best hours to reach them?

Companies can also create a space for introverts who need alone time. For example, a room called a silent zone or the rest zone, with sofas and pillows, will let colleagues know that they need to decompress first.

Make meetings introvert-friendly

Team collaborations and meetings can bring chills to an introvert. It can be unpredictable, loud, and people tend to cut each other off. This does not mean introverts do not want to speak up. They just need to be given the opportunities and the right atmosphere to do so.

There are different ways managers can encourage introverts to participate in group meetings. For example, implement a two-minute rule where everyone gets to speak for that amount of time. Break up a big team into pairs or smaller groups with similar tasks to discuss together.

If possible, give everyone their own workspace

It is the norm for offices to have open spaces and rarely do you see offices give each employee a work cubicle. While the concept of an open space office is not bad, it does offer some drawbacks to introverts. They do not anymore have the silence they need to focus.

If possible, companies should invest in giving each employee their workspace. It does not have to be even a room or a cubicle. It could be something as small as giving each employee a table. These tables can also be set far apart to lessen the chances of introverts hearing their colleagues chatting.