Remote work has moved from an experiment to the norm for millions of office workers around the world. Are the assumptions correct about introverts finding their true bliss at home? What are introverts loving and what are they challenged by? Do they thrive in quiet and solitude or are they feeling disconnected and lonely?
We set out to learn more. Our company conducted a survey to discover how introverts have been responding to working from home full time. Within 5 days we had almost 200 responses! I wanted to share a summary of our discoveries for leaders and teams as they plan for a new post-Covid introvert-friendly workplace. You can download the full free report here.
What is Working
In reviewing the results, you will see that those introverts who responded are overwhelmingly positive about remote work.
Not commuting was hands down the #1 reason for those positive responses. Over 90% of respondents listed this as a benefit. Other reasons they were giving remote work a high grade:
- Flexible Schedule (64%)
- Lack of Interruptions (57%”)
- Focus (45%),
- Autonomy (47%)
Here are a few comments expressing what people find positive about remote work:
I have less stress in every area of my life, and better personal and professional balance.
I like not having to put on my ‘workday face’ every day…preparing myself mentally for the random social interactions and general social noise which are particularly prevalent in an open office.
I don’t have to worry about having a closed-door during moments of recovery from overstimulation.
What isn’t Working So Well
Despite their high satisfaction with remote work, there are still many challenges that we should consider moving forward. Over 56% of respondents listed “virtual meeting fatigue” as a problem. In addition, stress and disconnection from people are hard for introverts working remotely. Here are a few sample comments expressing their frustrations as introverts.
Extroverts want everyone to turn on their videos!
I’m much more drained at the end of the workday from communicating either by mobile phone or in virtual meetings.
I miss socializing, which is the glue of relationships and the opportunities to listen to employees for hidden topics.
I miss spontaneous interactions. There are more scheduled interactions, and I am less able to ask a question in passing.
Next Steps to Take
Based on this research we offer 5 key strategies for leaders to unleash the best of introvert talent in a remote world. They are: Ask introverts what they think, nurture productivity, address stress, manage virtual meetings, and intentionally build connection. These are all described in this free report. Check it out and share it with your organization.
We also welcome your ideas about tactics to make your workplace introvert-friendly in this new world.