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Creating an Agile Workspace for Everyone

Creating an Agile Workspace for Everyone!

This has got everything to do with the type of office layout you choose for your employees to work in.

First, a definition of an introvert vs an extrovert, Think of people as batteries that need to be charged to operate. Extroverts charge from other people. Introverts charge from being alone.

And let’s get one thing clear, no one person is 100% either introverted or extroverted. They’re just more of the one than the other. Me, for instance, I’m around 99.99% introverted.

It is estimated (probably by extroverts) that introverts make up between 25% and 40% of the world’s population, which means that 25% to 40% of your employees are introverts.

Studies (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-reason-introverts-mak_1_b_8365272) show 96% of managers identify as extroverts and 65% of execs view introversion as a disadvantage.

Extroverts (And this is not to say introverts can’t do these jobs or be good at them) are your typical sales people, marketing managers, sales managers, CEO’s (Perceived, although there are some VERY successful introverted ones also), etc.

Introverts are typically your designers, accounting jobs or accounting manager, actuaries, auditors, editors, writers, artists, software engineers, IT managers, mechanics, researchers, etc. I see it as extroverts are the sales people and then the introverts build and implement the solutions.

No matter what anyone believes, the human brain is a sequential processor. You can only concentrate/focus on one thing at any given time and only do one thing at any given time. YOU CANNOT MULTITASK. You can task hop, which is stupid and not effective, productive or efficient, but you cannot multitask. It’s humanly not possible for anyone. It takes the average person around 23 minutes (https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-nuts-it-takes-nearly-30-minutes-to-refocus-after-you-get-distracted)to get in “the zone” and totally focus. Any distraction or interruption costs someone (introvert or extrovert) the time they’re being interrupted PLUS a minimum of 23 minutes to try and get back in “the zone” again. He could, it seems, work on several compositions at the same time, all of them masterpieces. But he is the only known exception. The other prolific composers of the first rank – Bach, for instance, Handel, or Haydn, or Verdi – composed one work at a time. They did not begin the next until they had finished the preceding one, or until they had stopped work on it for the time being and put it away in the drawer. Executives can hardly assume that they are ‘executive Mozarts.’”

Our office environments. And this counts for most office spaces today. Those 96% of managers that identify as extroverted chose a layout that suits them, as extroverts. An open plan office. And it works great for the 60-75% of extroverts that sit in that environment. But I’d like everyone reading this to think about what this type of environment does to introverts (25% to 40% of your staff compliment, the guys that do the building, designing, creative and problem solving). There are non stop interruptions so it’s almost impossible for anyone (including extroverts) to get in “THE ZONE”, ever. Having introverts in an environment like that will make them depressed, leave them with permanent low energy and likely lead to burnout. They will not contribute, collaborate or be creative.

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