Office Designs for Introverts and Extroverts

Extroverts are often considered to be “movers and shakers.” This is why most workspaces are designed with extroverts in mind. But the introverts that make up about 50 percent of the workforce can be equally valuable contributors. Luckily, there are some approaches to office design that can keep both introverts and extroverts happy!

Activity-Based Office Design

Embrace an activity-based office design. When you do this, you’ll be creating spaces designed with specific functions and activities in mind. Go a step further with design features, such as large round tables, for extroverts to gather and collaborate. Balance this out with smaller activity areas or even a huddle room.

Acoustic Meeting Spaces

It’s not unusual for introverts to adopt extroverted behaviors in order to make life easier in the workplace. But doing this on a regular basis can also boost stress levels for introverted workers more sensitive to external stimuli. So, give your introverted employees a break from sensory overload with one or two smaller acoustic meeting spaces. There are several ways you can create semi-private spots for workers to meet or brainstorm without too many distractions. Options include:

• Acoustic flaps
• Deep seating with high backs to naturally block audio-visual distractions
• Focus-dedicated cubes

Combine Common Areas and Individual ‘Work Pads’ or Rooms

Extroverts thrive off the energy of being social and around lots of external stimuli. Introverts usually prefer to recharge and get their creative juices flowing with quiet time and reduced exposure to external distractions. For the extroverts on your staff, set up some common office areas. They also tend to appreciate smart office tech, so consider providing access to things like:

• Adjustable height desks with monitor arms to allow for screen sharing or movement
• Video conferencing capabilities
• Whiteboards and tables with built-in touchscreens to allow for real-time collaborations

But also provide pods, nap rooms, or huddle spaces that can only accommodate one or two people at a time for your staff members who need some quiet time. Just make sure the walls are properly soundproofed. Some companies are also creating silent areas for employees who prefer to work this way.

Family-Style Meal Breaks

Most offices have breakrooms set up with a bunch of cafe-style or four-top tables. Consider going an entirely different way and using one large community table instead. It’s your call as to whether you opt for a table that’s round, square, or rectangular. What this does is give introverts a chance to connect with co-workers. And extroverts will be pleased with the opportunity to switch up seating arrangements and mingle.

Anchor Desking, Not Hot Desking

“Hot desking” is the extreme in open office design. It basically means allowing employees to cart their stuff around and work wherever they please. But studies have shown that this nomadic approach is not good for on-the-job memory capabilities. Instead, keep both personality types happy by:

• Having anchor desks or private offices that can serve as bases
• Giving employees the option of moving away from their permanent spaces throughout the day
• Allowing some degree of personalization with permanent workspaces to increase comfort and familiarity

If you have a more divorce workspace that includes both introverted and extroverted employees, Office Innovations can help you find the right approach to office layout and design for your unique workplace dynamics. We can even recommend an office configuration that improves upon what you already have in place, or refurbish existing furniture that needs some attention before you make office design adjustments.

Ready to make your office spaces more inviting and appealing? Contact us today to explore our services, design solutions, and products.

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