Managing Introverts and Extroverts in the Hybrid Workplace
Working at home may have been a great success for those who are introverts as they had fewer interactions with colleagues and social outings. While extroverts felt isolated and less productive as they lacked the external stimuli of the office.
So how will the hybrid model work? With introverts happy to stay working from home, you’ll have extroverts itching to get back to the office. How will you create a balanced and engaged team ensuring they are happy and productive?
Erica Dhawan, whose article features in Harvard Business Review, recommends her best practices for managing your distributed team.
1. Give introverts time and space.
Especially during meetings, it's important to ensure your introverts are heard and not overshadowed by louder characters. As a manager, look to include everyone during hybrid meetings by making use of tools like hand raising features. This opens the floor to all attendees and ensures everyone gets to share their voice.
2. Give extroverts airtime.
Are you struggling to keep extroverts engaged and connected? Setting up a face to face meetings on a regular basis can help so they can talk things through directly. Research shows that during the transition to remote work, the ‘watercooler chat’ or social, relationship-building activities are what people missed the most. To assist the extroverts who may not be returning to the office, suggest more optional hybrid team bonding events, ranging from a video call lunch chat to a hybrid meeting after-work drink.
3. Encourage a range of communication styles.
The obligation lies with manages to create a cohesive team. We all communicate in diverse ways, so creating a safe space for creative formats to communicate their voice is vital. Leaders should look to create a digital environment the fosters a wide range of communication styles so that all team members can engage in their own unique way.
Many people are unsettled by the concept of change, yet the pandemic was the biggest change within organisations. It demonstrated we can change, albeit with challenges, compromises and new learnings. These learnings will make us stronger and more inclusive as we go forward into the new hybrid working world.
To read more from Erica, click here.