One of the more common misconceptions about working remotely is that it’s best suited for introverted people (meaning those who prefer to minimize their contact with other people and feel more energized when they have plenty of alone time). This misconception would also assume that extroverts would struggle in a work-from-home environment. But is there a “personality” best fit for working remotely? Michael Segovia, expert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment tool, would argue “no.” Segovia supports the idea that even if you identify as an extrovert, you can find enormous success and happiness in a work-from-home lifestyle.
The solution lies in creating a schedule that allows for finding energy and inspiration in new environments. “People who prefer extroversion get energized by that outer world of action and people and things,’” Segovia told Fast Company last year. Extrovert “pretirees”: All you have to do is seek out some ways to satisfy your extrovert-ism while still enjoying the benefits of working-from-home.
Here are some ideas to mix and match:
- Start your morning with some “faux” social time. You will start really looking forward to listening to your favorite talk radio personalities, a new podcast series, or that weatherman who laughs at his own jokes. Even if you’re not an extrovert, this can be an energizing way to start your day.
- Forgo a traditional phone call for an app like FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Skype to make video calls through your computer or phone every once in a while. Seeing someone else’s facial expressions and gestures can make you feel like you’re there in-person.
- Join (or start!) a walking or running group in your neighborhood. Even if there are weeks when no one can make it, midday exercise will invigorate your day-to-day schedule and keep your mind alert.
- Virtual work parties: Missing the sporadic “Happy Birthday” from down the hall or the overflowing candy dish at the desk next door that you’d indulge in from time to time? Mimic that “Treat Yourself” mentality at home by sending an e-card and celebrating with a slice of cake from home on your colleagues’ birthdays! Any excuse for a slice of cake, right?
- Professionals all over the country – small business owners, entrepreneurs, teleworkers, etc. – are taking full advantage of co-working spaces. Co-workingis a style of work that involves a shared working environment, typically by professionals not employed by the same organization. Beautifully decorated, rentable spaces for co-working are popping up everywhere. This could be the perfect setup for an extrovert.
- Don’t have a solid co-working space nearby? Look for a coffee shop or café near you with a community table. While those looking for privacy will seek out the other tables and booths, long community tables encourage more social interaction between work-from-home professionals.
- Set up at least a couple lunch or happy hour meet-ups per week with friends, colleagues, or former co-workers. If you sprinkle these throughout your schedule, your calendar will definitely feel more balanced.
- Join a professional mentor organization. If you don’t already mentor someone, consider looking into organizations that match professionals in similar industries. Checking in with this person once in a while and discussing topics relevant to the industry is a great social outlet for work-from-home extroverts.
- Choose a cause or volunteer-based organization to participate in. This is a unique way to spend time with people already in your network, as well as meet new folks.
Exploring a few of these options (or rotating them, to keep it fresh) will help those extroverts out there find the social stimulation they need to be more efficient and productive in a remote work environment.
Do you identify as an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert wahvers– are there additional work-from-home tips you can share with your fellow extroverts?