Not all employees are the same. Some thrive in social settings. Others, when they are in their own space and able to focus. So when designing an office, how should you lay it out so that both introverts and extroverts can grow and contribute? Understanding the team that you’re working with is the most essential step to putting together an office in which all team members feel most comfortable and productive. With the trend toward open offices, we can leave out a whole group of workers. Some industries or jobs will attract a certain type of person. Sales people may be more likely extroverts, while accountants and engineers may need the quiet to focus. So what are some things to consider when designing and office for both introverts and extroverts?
It’s no secret that introverts feel more productive when they are on their own and able to focus solely on the task at hand. They will prefer a quiet space with little to no distractions. An introverted team member won’t contribute a whole lot in a brainstorming session with the whole team. It is important to have spaces set aside away from distractions and noise for this type of worker. If you are set on an open floor plan, it’s necessary to make available small rooms that are relatively sound proof to make it easier to focus. Other options include private hubs or pods via specialty furniture or strategically placed décor that offer some privacy.
Extroverts will thrive in open spaces where they can collaborate with other team members and bounce ideas off of each other. Conference rooms and open floor plan offices are great for fostering their talents. Many creative ideas can be born from these interactions. Offices are getting rid of desks and cubicles all together and using one large conference table for their team. Moveable furniture, from seating to desks, also allow groups to maximize the use of space for communication and comfort. This allows for open communication between the team and gives them the ability to share ideas as they work.
While understanding your team is the most important part of designing any office. It can be very beneficial to know their personalities and how they work best. Most offices are filled with people from very different backgrounds and work styles. It is very important to incorporate a little for everyone.
Photo by the Financial Times