Tips for Extroverts Working from Home
Extroversion and introversion are interesting aspects of the personality, and sometimes a little misunderstood, but at the heart of it is a distinction between where you best get your energy from. An introvert tends to draw energy from their internal world, is reflective and recharges best on their own or in quiet environments. They like people and don’t want to be hermits but it takes some energy to be around others.
An extrovert tends to draw energy from their outer world and the people around them, they get energy from being around others and thrive on social situations, collaborating or leading and being with their team(s).
I’m more of an introvert and I’m very used to working from home but for of you out there who love being around your work mates and customers and are going slowly insane being ensconced in your own four walls, here are some tips for keeping your day lively and connected…
- Set up a regular virtual coffee/cuppa with 2-3 people through your week who will also like the chance to touch base and catch up. This might be a 10-15 minute call or even over lunch through the week. A bit like popping down to the local café for a coffee with someone in more normal circumstances. Make it a regular date so you have it to look forward it.
- Opt for video calls over phone calls where possible. This probably seems obvious and you’re likely already doing it, just check in for yourself – are you doing it often enough? And are you allowing for a reasonable degree of eye contact? One of the powerful things about a video call is that it allows us to make eye contact with the other person – and this allows your nervous system to experience a whole different level of comfort and assurance.
- Make weekend plans (even though you can’t go anywhere if you’re currently in lockdown) such as lunch over Zoom with friends or an elderly relative. Plan games with the kids or challenge them to create some kind of epic challenge for you – discretion recommended. Have fun stuff to look forward to!
- Join or become more involved in online groups of interest. A fun way to do this is to not just be part of work or business related Facebook groups or online meet ups, but also something in line with your hobbies or interests. I sometimes think my Dad needs to join a group for windsurfers who are currently land-locked so they can rave on about being out on the water and empathise with each other!
- Plan a date with your partner such as dinner or a movie or a session on the couch with your old travel albums.
- During your workday move around your space, eat lunch somewhere different to your work station, walk around for some of your phone calls. Mix it up. Get your body moving. Don’t risk finding yourself in a hunched-and-hand-in-a-claw-around-your-mouse position at 5 o’clock!
- Share your space with others. I wouldn’t love this because I’d just want peace and quiet, but if you’d like company then have it. A friend of mind has been sharing the dining room table with one of her teenage sons so she can help him stay focused on his school work and they have each other’s company.
- Join or create a mastermind group who meets regularly. I’ve just done this myself and it feels great. Mastermind groups bring together peers who work in the same field or have similar goals to learn, network, share ideas and help encourage each other to move forward in their careers or businesses. I really look forward to my mastermind meetings each month and the chance to share ideas, have support and experience the collective. It’s great.
Over the years I’ve often heard those with a more extroversion preference comment on how nice it was to have some time to themselves at some point, to have some overdue reflection time or just the chance to chill out in their own company. So look out for those opportunities too and make the most of them.
We all need time to ourselves and time with others, it’s not one or the other and we slide up and down the continuum at different times. The best thing we can do for our own wellbeing and merriment is to regularly check in with ourselves, ask our body how we are and what we need, and honour what we hear.
(And for more tips on working from home, go here to my Survival Guide for Working from Home or this savvy article for extroverts working from home in lockdown from Forbes.)