Quiet: Work in Progress
Don’t forget to consider your introverted employees when you design your office
We see the design everywhere these days. LinkedIn and Instagram feature photos of those large open office spaces with nooks rather than cubicles –– large sectional couches with USB plug-ins where once there was a watercooler and a walled-off executive suite.
They are absolutely beautiful, and the very aesthetic created by these spaces has come to define the modern, technology driven office. While many of us still toil away behind closed doors or in 1980s office parks, we watch shows like The Bold Type or The Good Wife and lose ourselves for a moment in the fantasy of working day-in and day-out in a space like that.
While the best open offices are as functional and organized as any other working space, many of these new designs forget to take into account the needs of the introverted. Collaboration and teamwork are at the top of most corporate value systems, but a growing number of companies and organizations have now fully realized the necessity of the invaluable contributions made by introverts –– folks who work and think at their best when they are alone, in a quiet space.
It’s not just shy people. In fact, many introverts are not afraid to speak their minds or share their contributions. The problem is not an unwillingness to work in teams, rather it is that introverted folks get their energy and strength from quiet time alone. For many of them, it’s exhausting to type away and chat with passers-by in a wide open space that is designed to encourage collaboration.
There are also a growing number of companies focused on diversifying their workforce to capitalize on the wide range of talents and perspectives offered by cognitively diverse folks. Is your office one of them? A new employee hired to help you beef-up your company’s cyber security may not be able to focus at all in a noisy environment. If you employ someone with Asperger’s or autism, an open office design can be detrimental to their success. Then again, if you hire a stellar new sales and marketing exec, they might need the social stimulation and feedback provided by collaborative space.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
Try creating quiet, secluded places amid the beauty of that new open office space. Cubicles can go a long way in providing a much needed dose of privacy in a busy environment. If you truly value productivity over tradition and appearances, have you considered having the CEO work among the employees so that you can give her office to two or three folks who tend toward introversion?
Try creating quiet, secluded places amid the beauty of that new open office space.
Use the Flower Petal Method
Some of the best offices provide conference and general working space in the center of the building, with offices, restrooms, and quiet meeting spaces surrounding the open area like the petals around a flower. Remember to encourage employees to work where they feel the best. Otherwise, they will watch one or two leaders and work as they work, which may not be appropriate for the employee.
Some of the best offices provide conference and general working space in the center of the building, with offices, restrooms, and quiet meeting spaces surrounding the open area like the petals around a flower.
If You Can’t Put Up Doors, Clean Up Desks
Clutter and messes are like noise in a quiet room. People who work best in quiet, secluded spaces will likely also prefer an organized, clean office. To make the office as inviting and productive as possible, call up a junk removal service or use the new Go Trashy junk pick-up app to haul away any unnecessary stuff. They will do their best to upcycle and recycle unneeded file cabinets and outdated computers so that you can offer your quieter employees a clean, open space that accommodates their needs.
...call up a junk removal service or use the new Go Trashy junk pick-up app to haul away any unnecessary stuff
Go Trashy is on-demand junk removal
You snap a pic of the stuff you want gone
You get upfront prices from background-checked Providers
You select your Provider and your stuff is gone within hours