07 Apr 2020
A short guide for extroverts in the enforced home office environment
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People, the hustle and bustle are missing. For the extroverted character trait in us, we have developed tips for the new normal - the enforced home office.
There are people who find their way into a daily rhythm better than others in the new working environment, the enforced home office. Introverts, reserved and quiet people who need time alone to feel comfortable can get used to it pretty fast. Extroverts, on the other hand, love to be in constant social interaction and communicate. They need others to regenerate, gain energy and insight. The lack of social interaction can therefore deplete their energy and make them not only less happy but also less productive, as shown in studies published in peer-reviewed neuroscience journals.
So how can extroverts cope with the enforced home office environment?
The key will be to recreate some of the stimuli from the usual workspace with the help of some tricks, technology, colleagues and friends.
Create a structured routine. For extroverts, the new normal will most probably lead to some level of demotivation. Make sure you wake up as usual, shower, get dressed and ready for work. Have regular breaks and set yourself a time goal to be finished and leave your work behind.
Use video instead of just making phone calls. There are infinite possibilities for one-to-one and team interactions – Facetime, WhatsApp, Teams, Zoom. Do not use them only for business interactions but also for the usual coffee chat and maybe for a team lunch.
Create a “virtual office space” that gives you some background noise. Organize a group video conference in which your team is logged in while they work. You do not have to talk to each other all the time, but the background noise will give you the impression of an office.
Make sure to get the feedback you need. As an extrovert, you need regular feedback but now you may not have as many opportunities to get it. Track your accomplishments and be sure to find ways to celebrate the small wins. Share them with your team, via social media or celebrate by getting yourself a small treat.
Go for a walk / exercise. As long as you are healthy and as long as your local authorities do not tell you otherwise, try to get some fresh air and move beyond your four walls while keeping social distancing measures. As an extrovert, you need the dopamine boost from physical activity to compensate for the missing dopamine coming from social interaction. Plus, some minutes of sun every day boost your vitamin D storage, essential for healthy bones and for your immune system.
Connect with your friends and family on a daily basis via phone, video or text. Connecting with people close to you during a work break can give you enough energy to continue with the day of work.
Do not read the news non-stop. You need to stay up to date on what is happening, but tuning in non-stop will make your already active imagination more hyped. As a result, you will be unhappy and less productive.
Find a project or learn something new or useful for your career. Most probably, you are saving significant time for the daily commute to work. Yes, you may need some time to help your children with their home-schooling. But if you have spare time - do not use it to watch another re-run of a Netflix series. Instead, use the time to refresh your language skills, start a coaching certification, develop your digital skills, start to paint again, learn to play the piano, etc. There are many online courses being offered right now for bargain prices. Whatever it is, now it is the time to do it!