How to Deal with Returning to Work as an Introvert

by Brad Fein
Work as an Introvert

Are you an introvert who is apprehensive about returning to work? If so, you’re not alone. Zoom meetings and remote work have been a boon for many introverts, with minimal social interaction being the biggest benefit. Did you know that 50% of working professionals identify as introverts? That means there are many others in the same position as you. However, with in-person work making a comeback, it’s important to embrace the change and make the most of it. 

 Who are introverts? 

Introverts are often misunderstood and mistakenly labeled as anti-social or lacking motivation due to their tendency to keep social connections and conversations to a minimum. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Introverts are highly motivated individuals, but they express their motivation in non-traditional ways. The pandemic lockdowns and isolation have been challenging for extroverts, but introverts have been flourishing, and their productivity has been at an all-time high. 

 Several key traits can help distinguish an introvert from the crowd. For instance, they tend to prefer emails and texts over face-to-face communication, enjoy working in solitude, and are less likely to take instant decisions and reflect on the consequences of their actions. They also have a small but reliable circle of friends and need time to recharge and energize for life back at work. Additionally, they work better in quiet surroundings. 

 Although introverted professionals have been thriving during remote work, in-person work is making a comeback. As an introvert, it may be daunting to return to work, but it is crucial to embrace this change and adjust accordingly. 

 How do introverts reconnect? 

Many introverts find it challenging to return to in-person work and would rather continue working remotely. Working from home allows introverts to function more effectively and maintain a better mood. It also provides them with an opportunity to focus on essential tasks and produce their best work. For introverts who must return to the office, here is some advice to make the transition smoother. 

Introvert Personality

 Claim your personality with pride 

Establishing clear boundaries is crucial, especially for introverts who may feel pressured to conform to social norms. Communicating your needs and setting boundaries around the need for quiet workspaces can create a more conducive work environment that fosters creativity and improves retention. 

 Use non-verbal signals 

Utilizing nonverbal cues in meetings and small talk can help introverts connect with their colleagues without feeling overwhelmed. Maintaining eye contact during meetings shows attentiveness and engagement while using similar nonverbal signals during office small talk can demonstrate interest and build social connections. By reading the room and understanding the need for a response, introverts can effectively communicate and engage with their colleagues without feeling pressured to use too many words. 

 Find creative ways to contribute during meetings 

Business meetings can be challenging for introverts as they often feel pressured to speak up and share their ideas. However, there are ways to alleviate this burden. One effective strategy is to plan and prepare a significant question to ask at the end of the meeting. This allows introverts to participate actively without feeling overwhelmed during the entire meeting. Another option is for introverts to follow up with an email to the meeting attendees, expressing their thoughts and ideas in a more comfortable and controlled manner. 

 Create a mood-improving workspace 

Introverts prefer to work independently, quietly, and in-depth, which makes them different from extroverts who thrive on collaboration, stimulation, and variety. Providing them with flexibility is essential for their productivity and satisfaction. To ensure a smooth transition back to the office, it’s important to prioritize work-life balance and mental health for introverts.  

 However, before making any changes to the workspace, be sure to obtain the necessary consent from employees, as this can help them feel more comfortable and valued. One way to create an ideal workspace for introverts is to explore top paying online casinos for NZ players, as this can provide them with a fun and flexible way to earn extra income. 

 Try blending smoothly at work 

Transitioning back to in-person work can be challenging, especially for introverts. It’s important to take it slow and ease into the new routine gradually. Planning for the commute ahead of time and making the most of that time can be helpful. Additionally, it’s important to communicate your preferences and boundaries to your teammates and management. 

Home Office

 Ask for a mix of working options 

One way to balance your introverted tendencies with in-person work is to ask for a mix of working options. While remote work allowed for minimal social interaction, blended work options can provide a balance of both. Consider starting with two office working days and three work-from-home days and adjusting the schedule as needed. This will allow you to work in person while still allowing for time to recharge and work independently. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs to your employer, as promoting work-life balance is beneficial for everyone. 

 To make the return to the office more manageable, introverts may want to consider exploring job opportunities that allow for minimal human interaction. Leadership roles can be challenging for introverts, as they often require prioritizing social connections. Instead, introverts should look for positions that allow them to focus on their work rather than social settings. Here are some job titles that may be well-suited for introverts:  

  1. Accountant
  2. Content writer or editor
  3. Executive Chef
  4. Graphic Designer
  5. IT Manager
  6. Librarian
  7. Research Analyst

 These are just a few examples of job titles that could be a good fit for introverts. Ultimately, it’s important to find a job that aligns with your strengths and preferences, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. 

 Types of introverts 

There are four different personality types of introverts, and understanding one’s type can help achieve a better work-life balance. These types include:  

  • Social introverts: They are comfortable with in-person work and small gatherings, but not large crowds. Social introverts know how to manage social connections, which can reduce stress and burnout while increasing loyalty, creativity, and teamwork.
  • Thinking introverts: These individuals are daydreamers and enjoy using their imagination. They are best suited for office roles that require creative thinking.
  • Anxious introvert: These introverts prefer to avoid office roles that require too much interaction and socialization. They can become anxious and awkward during small talk and prefer jobs that don’t require phone calls or social interaction.
  • Inhibited introverts: These individuals take time to think before making decisions. They are not necessarily shy, but they will take their time before concluding any topic.

 What introverts should not do? 

Managing multiple tasks simultaneously can be overwhelming for anyone, especially introverts who need more focused and intentional work time. It’s important to prioritize tasks and work on them one at a time to avoid burnout. 

 Another mistake introverts should avoid is trying too hard to change themselves to fit in with their team members. It’s important to embrace one’s unique personality and not feel pressured to conform to social norms or expectations. 

 Additionally, introverts should be mindful of their personal information and set clear boundaries for how it’s used. It’s also important to establish a reliable social group within the workplace to avoid feeling isolated or disconnected. 

 Lastly, introverts should not assume that they cannot have a social life or neglect it altogether. It’s important to find a balance between work and social activities and prioritize self-care to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Workspace as an introvert

 Hustling in today’s workspace as an introvert 

Today, the workspace is rapidly changing. It is much more diversified and flexible. Businesses are understanding that a uniform work formula might not work. Thus, they are bending the rules and welcoming flexibility. The bottom line is to create a work environment that is welcoming for all without any prejudice. So, there’s a fair opportunity for everyone to excel at their work while staying true to their personality and traits. It is upon you to make sure that you communicate your concerns regarding work and ask for flexibility to become a better employee. It’s a win-win. 

 Lastly, understand your worth so that others can appreciate it. Returning to the workplace might be hard but knowing the navigation techniques and clear communication can make it easy! Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your mental health and work-life balance as an introvert. Finding a job that suits your personality type can make all the difference. Also, don’t hesitate to communicate your preferences and boundaries to your coworkers and management. With open communication and a flexible work environment, introverts can thrive in the workplace. 

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