How to cater for different personality types at work
Published by Pall Mall Estates on 28th December 2019 -
There can be no doubt that businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors have employees with varying personality traits. If we were all the same, life would be pretty boring, right? Nevertheless, as an owner of a growing business, you need to be able to provide a workplace environment that supports the working styles of all personality types in the office.
Defining personality types is by no means an easy task. However, there are two personality types that are most common in the workplace – introverted and extroverted personalities. Staff with introverted or extroverted personalities are not better than the other. Individuals with both traits can add tremendous value to your business and grow in their roles, but both often require different working environments to do so.
What makes an introvert?
Professionals with introverted personality traits typically shy away from group or collaborative conversations. Instead, they prefer their own space and the chance to meticulously plan what they wish to do or say. Unplanned, informal discussions can be like kryptonite to an introvert.
What makes an extrovert?
At the other end of the personality spectrum, extroverts tend to thrive when thrown into social, collaborative situations. They will be comfortable thinking on their feet in impromptu meetings and vibrant, open-plan offices bring out the best in them as an everyday working environment.
It’s fair to say there are plenty of employees that will sit somewhere in between these two primary personality types. But by using introverts and extroverts as a barometer it can help to define office layouts and designs that cater for staff at both ends of the spectrum.
Office design ideas for introverted workers
An agile contemporary workplace is one that gets the best out of employees, regardless of their personality and how they wish to work. Although a growing number of modern offices are going open-plan to promote a sociable, collaborative working culture, some people can find this all too overwhelming.
It’s a great idea to incorporate quiet working rooms, pods or booths away from the general hubbub of the office floor to give introverted professionals the headspace to do their best work away from distraction. Even extroverts will need some peace and quiet from time to time, so these private working areas can benefit your entire workforce.
Office design ideas for extroverted workers
For businesses with a significant number of extroverted employees, it’s a good idea to move away from the traditional cubicle-style workspaces and head towards fluid, open working areas. Contemporary office designs naturally cater for extroverts over introverts as they favour collaborative working. When it comes to open-plan working environments for extroverts, ‘clusters’ might be an even more worthwhile office design, allowing your staff to work alongside other driven characters with the same personality traits.
If you don’t acknowledge that certain individuals enjoy working differently to others, your business will only ever bring out the best in a fraction of its workforce. This can have significant implications in terms of productivity, staff morale and turnover. Agile working environments that underpin all personality types will improve staff engagement and loyalty, proving to your talent that you care about their development, both personally and professionally.