We’ve all encountered them in the workplace them: Those loner employees who always bow their heads and avoid eye contact while passing you by. Who prefer to wait for the next elevator – even though you are the only occupant in this one. That prefer taking the stairs just to avoid meeting colleagues huddled in the hallway. They are the typical introvert; but the truth is that they have a lot of good things to offer a company.
If only there was a way to unleash all that hidden potential?
Well, there actually is. Through creative workspace allocation and selection techniques, managers and team leaders can tap into the awesome potential trapped behind an introvert employee. Here are some ways to do that.
The typical introvert employee has a lot to contribute during project meetings or other collaborative group sessions. However, they’re usually ineffective when forced to walk directly into the meeting. To participate effectively, they need time and space, prior to such sessions to pause and recollect their thoughts. And then, immediately following the sessions, to recover from the anxiety of the session.
One way to facilitate this is to use conference room booking software to ensure that introverts have the time and space needed to optimize their contribution to the team. Do this by booking meeting rooms that have nearby pods or cubicles that session organizers may reserve for introvert participants.
Prior to the session, an individual may use a reserved pod to consolidate their meeting artifacts, or exchange ideas with another individual or smaller group. They now feel confident about the upcoming socialization, and will contribute to their fullest. Similarly, since introverts feel awkward discussing thoughts and ideas in large groups, the available regroup pods will facilitate introvert employees to quickly de-stress in a solitary location. Alternately, they may quietly debrief with a smaller group of colleagues, away from the larger group of participants wrapping-up the main session.
If there’s one thing that veteran people managers and HR specialists know, it’s that introverts perform at their best when left in quiet and solitude. When forced into (unwanted) social interactions, such staff members tend to “shut down”. The trick to helping your introvert stars shine brighter, therefore, lies in empowering them with the ability to choose a workspace that’s conducive to their temperament.
With intelligent DeskFlex Room Scheduling software, introverts can choose desks, cubicles and pods that are:
1) located away from crowded places, like frequently used conference rooms and meeting pods
2) positioned to help them avoid direct interaction with other employees, such as a cubicle away from a doorway or an elevator
3) situated in a relatively sparsely populated area of the floor, away from the water cooler, shared printer stations or the cafeteria
Like it or not, employers must recognize that introverts have a lot to offer the company. And, if you can retool your workspace just a bit. To bring out the best in those hidden gems – then why not do it? The best thing about drawing out introvert power. That technology makes it easier today than it was just a few years ago.