The Extrovert-Introvert Battle: Who is Better at WFH?Webmaster
Are you a lively and confident person who enjoys being with others? If your answer is yes, then you fall under the extroversion or extraversion category, which is generally defined as the quality of being outgoing, sociable, expressive and assertive. Introversion, on the contrary, is regarded as the quality of being quiet and more interested in your own thoughts and feelings than in spending time with others.
A lot of people may say that working from home (WFH) is heaven for introverts as they enjoy the peace and tranquillity of being away from people. On the other hand, extroverts may find WFH a catastrophe! Is working remotely really blissful for introverts and miserable for extroverts? Here are some facts.
Why do (or don’t) introverts thrive while WFH?
Introverts tend to appreciate solitude, so the home is a great place to work. WFH removes the sensory overload, hustle and bustle of an office setting that usually brings joy to extroverted employees. Many introverts can perform in a loud and busy environment, and love to connect too, but working remotely liberates them from overstimulation. Fewer interruptions and less small talk are definitely perks of WFH. Also, having only to attend the occasional online meeting means introverts have more time to focus, which brings a surge of productivity.
However, not all introverts enjoy working remotely, unless they live alone and have a comfortable home workspace. Introverted parents may find it challenging to juggle career, kids and chores. It can also be distracting and mentally exhausting for other introverts if they are surrounded by family members or noisy neighbours. Limited space, time, and privacy can affect an introvert’s concentration and efficiency.
Can extroverts succeed at working remotely? And how do they do so?
For extroverts who love the energy of the office, WFH may seem dreadful. Generally, extroverts feel the pressures of social isolation more than introverts, especially if they live alone. Extroverts thrive when they can connect with people, which may make remote working difficult and lead them to suffer the effects of isolation and loneliness. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be productive too.
Fortunately, online meetings and social media have allowed for some connection with colleagues, family and friends. Video calls can be a saving grace for extroverted workers. With a natural ability in building social networks, they can still enjoy interaction with others, even online. While virtual interaction may not fill the void left by face-to-face connection, it does help them feel connected in getting their work done.
So, who is better at working remotely?
It has been more than a year since our home has become a place not only for living and resting but also working. This poses different challenges to introverts and extroverts but both can thrive while working remotely.
While introverts and extroverts bring their own strengths to the table and prefer different types of environments, both are good at adaptation. According to paleoanthropologist Rick Potts, “Our brains are essentially social brains. We share information, we create and pass on knowledge. That’s the means by which humans are able to adjust to new situations.” Simply put, we are all highly adaptable.
Moreover, human beings are social creatures. Extroverts and introverts need connections and interaction. The difference between the two is how much social contact one can put up with. The author of The Lonely Century, Noreena Hertz says, “Small interactions actually play a huge part in making us feel connected to each other and less alone. Research shows that even a 30-second exchange has a marked impact, both on individual and on societal well-being.”
Everything you feel right now is temporary. Things will go back to, at the very least, post-pandemic normalcy. For the time being, establish a routine, organise your desk, stay connected and adaptable, and take breaks when needed.
A final note.
No personality type is actually better than another. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you can be the best employee, provided you have the will to continuously improve and quickly adapt to a challenging environment. After all, we are master adapters. Embrace the promises and challenges of WFH because it won’t last forever. You can do it!
By Izyan Diyana Merzuki