Working At Home Survival Kit for Introverts
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Most of us have at least a couple of weeks of working from home under our belts by now. We’ve claimed our “workspace” and established routines including “office hours” during which we cannot be interrupted unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding. Our teams are operating at maximum efficiency and with stellar support. We’ve even figured out how to distract ourselves, so we don’t blow through our food supply in Olympic-worthy time.
However, there is one hurdle many remote workers are trying to gracefully clear but find themselves stumbling ass over elbow… Sharing space when your “officemate” is your polar opposite. This is why we created the…
Survival Kit for Introverts Working at Home with Extroverts
In case you haven’t noticed, (or you have a very expensive pair of noise-canceling headphones) your extroverted “officemates” are slowly but surely losing their ever-loving minds by now!
They’ve been stripped of everything that drives them as professionals and fills their emotional tank: client meetings, networking events, coffee at Starbucks with the rest of the “Extrovert Clan”, book clubs, Girls’/Guys’ Night Out, striking up a conversation with a total stranger at the grocery store, chatting it up with the produce guy… gone.
This leaves one person on the receiving end of their 20,000+ words spoken per day: YOU, my introverted friend. And chances are, you are just a few days away from voting your partner off the island.
Here are a few suggestions to help you support your struggling extrovert while maintaining your own introverted sanity…
- Encourage them to schedule zoom video meetings with their other extroverted friends who are climbing the walls
- Help them develop a list of clients or colleagues they can reconnect with – basically anyone they have ever spoken to
- Dig out the old Wii gaming system and challenge them to a riveting tennis match
- Suggest they join or even host a daily Zoom workout with friends (Then bust out those Beats headphones to drown out the sound of 10 overly-isolated extroverts jabber on about how isolated they feel)
- Share Facebook and Instagram videos of creative ways other extroverts are connecting with the hope they love the idea and implement them immediately, granting you a few hours of peace and quiet
- Prepare yourself for conversations about home improvement projects they are compelled to start IMMEDIATELY, such as rearranging furniture, painting an accent wall in the dining room, removing load-bearing walls, etc.
- And most importantly… step out of your comfort zone and have conversations with these high energy & verbose individuals, play some games, take drives together during which they can hang out the window and enthusiastically wave at other extroverts, perhaps shout a greeting at one another.