Coping with Remote Work: Extroverts vs. Introverts in Covid-19

Extroverts vs. Introverts

Working remotely means not having to contend with rush hour traffic, saving money on transportation/gas, and being able to ditch formal clothing for more comfortable threads. Remote work is also welcomed by introverts because the lockdown protocols and safe distancing measures mesh with their personality perfectly. However, it may not be so great for people who identify as extroverts. Not sure if you’re more of an introvert or extrovert? The distinction is not absolute, but there are certain characteristics that can tell you if you are more one than the other.

Extroverts tend to have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • You enjoy talking, including small talk
  • You jump at the opportunity to socialize
  • You relish being the life of the party
  • You willingly talk about your problems instead of keeping them in
  • People find you friendly and likable
  • You like doing group projects
  • You have an open mind and tend to be spontaneous
  • You don’t enjoy being alone

As it relates to the pandemic, extroverts appear to be holding up well with having to stay indoors. One U.S. study in Virginia found that extroverts were actually doing reasonably okay from a mental health perspective. Experts believe this might be due to people with extroverted personalities tending to have a more positive and optimistic outlook in general.

Still, many health professionals believe a mental health crisis could becoming due to the extended stay at home orders. Such a crisis is expected to affect a wide cross-section of people – more so extroverts, who tend to thrive off human interaction and socialization.

Work from home tips for extroverts

If you are an extrovert who is starting to feel the effects of working from home over a prolonged period, you can focus on the following:

Keep in touch with colleagues

At the office, you may have been accustomed to gathering by the water cooler for a quick morning chat or brainstorming ideas for a new campaign. While you no longer have the luxury of being in the same room, you can still seek out opportunities to interact with colleagues through technology. Have quick morning chats via text, instant message, or phone calls. You can even start a group chat via WhatsApp or another medium that allows you to reach out and discuss common interests, as well as work-related topics with co-workers.

Give preference to visual communication

Whenever you have the option to make a telephone call or do a video chat, choose the latter. Extroverts like to be in the presence of other people. The human connection means a lot and they revel in sharing energy and getting feedback. Communicating over video is the closest you can get to that right now while still maintaining a safe distance.

Go outside whenever and wherever possible

You may be banned from congregating in public spaces, but you can still come outside to get fresh air in the garden or by taking a bike ride, going for a run or walk. Make use of your patio or lawn, as long as you can get an internet connection for work (of course, this might be impossible for you if you live in an apartment building). Getting out of the house, even for brief periods, will help to energize and refresh extroverts who may easily get tired of being confined.

Attend live-streamed events

Extroverts often find much enjoyment in interactive experiences. One of the positive results of the pandemic is the increased usage of live-streaming platforms to provide interactive events. A number of musicians, for example, have been using Instagram Live, Twitch, and YouTube Live to share live performances that encourage interaction with fans and followers.

Do you want to have more insights into best practices for extroverted people when navigating the job search process during the pandemic? You find more fruitful tips in the following article How Extroverts Can Deal with the Job Search Process During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Work from home tips for introverts

Introverts tend to have most or all of the following characteristics

  • You shy away from social gatherings
  • You enjoy time alone
  • You enjoy peace and quiet
  • Your friend circle is quite small
  • People think you are shy or evasive
  • You don’t enjoy small talk
  • You are highly self-aware
  • Group work is not enticing

While introverts are considered to be better suited to the effects of the pandemic, working from home is still new territory for many who fall into this category. Introverts who may be feeling somewhat disoriented from leaving the office environment to working from home can try the following:

Pace yourself

When it comes to work patterns, introverts can often get absorbed in their jobs. Now that they are working from home, with no co-workers around to provide the occasional distraction, they can find it easier to lose connection with the outside world. This can have its own negative impact on mental health, so introverts should schedule break times for social interaction, however limited.

Avoid visual communication tools unless necessary

Being around people can be tiresome and draining for many people with introverted personalities. While working from home can spare you from the presence of people, frequent calls on Zoom, Skype, and other videoconferencing apps can have the same effect. If possible, encourage colleagues to reach you by text message or quick phone calls to discuss work-related issues.

Mute notifications from group chats

In order to facilitate a smooth transition from having employees in the office to working from separate locations, many companies set up group chats on WhatsApp and other apps. These can get annoying really quickly, especially if most of the conversation applies to you. To avoid the distraction, you can mute all notifications from the group chat. Set aside specific times during the day to check through messages that have come in to see if any are addressed specifically to you.

Choose a quiet work area

Noise can ruin the work from home experience for an introvert. Whether you have an actual office setup or plan to work from your sofa, try to ensure that it is in a quiet part of your home, away from street noise. If you live with other people, keep your doors closed and request that you not be disturbed while working.

The increasing cases of the new Coronavirus have made at least one thing quite clear: most non-essential workers will be doing their jobs from home for much of the foreseeable future. For many people, this is actually good news, and not so much for others. Whether you are prone to extroversion or introversion, you can try the tips above if you are experiencing issues with having to work remotely.

If you want to learn more about networking listen to the following podcast Networking for Introverts

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