Is working from home the new marmite of the business world?
Over the last few years many experienced working from home for the first time thanks to the global pandemic. But it’s actually been around for years. Centuries in fact – first spurred on during the first Industrial Revolution which dates back to as far as 1750 when craftsmen in trades sold their wares from the comfort of their homes.
1999 saw a strong revival of the style when the startup scene surfaced, with aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to save money by working from their living rooms, or garages.
In 2022, we’re at a crossroads with remote and in-office working – and the debate is heating up worldwide. In fact, the Netherlands have just introduced working from home as a legal right earlier this month, making them the first country to do so. It means that employers there must take all requests to do so seriously, and give adequate reasons for refusing them.
Not convinced? There’s potential in employees disengaging or moving jobs to consider if you want a complete return to the office – remember how employees at tech giant Google protested when they tried to get staff back to the office full time?
There are so many perks that working from home can provide – especially during the cost of living crisis affecting everyday expenses such as commuting into work, not to mention wasted time.
But there are some among us who might miss the workplace, especially when it comes to socialising IRL (in real life). What about your extroverted team members? Wondering if they will be better off in the office? Are there ways to make sure they’re comfortable working from home? How can you help them combat remoteliness?
Let’s find out.
But wait, what’s an extrovert?
At surface level, an extrovert is widely acknowledged as a social butterfly. That chatter box in your group chat, for instance.
But the term has changed a lot since it first came up when Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung first used the terms in his study of personalities in 1923.
Jung identified four pillars including extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving, laying the foundation of a lot of modern day personality tests.
Modern day psychology acknowledges even more layers to this: ever heard of an introverted extrovert? While an extrovert is widely acknowledged as the social butterfly of the group, the term ‘extroverted introvert’ acknowledges how introverts can be social, too. There are also ambiverts, which are dubbed as those who enjoy the best of both worlds.
How does being an extrovert affect your ability to work from home?
Contrary to how introverts recharge their batteries with time alone, extroverts feel their best when they engage with others.
Extroverts are more likely to experience remoteliness (yep, there’s a term for feeling lonely while remote working) when working from home. Remoteliness is often overlooked as just a phase when it comes to building work from home strategies, but it can become a long-term issue.
Continuing to ignore remoteliness as ‘just a phase’ is not the way to go. If strategies are not put in place to tackle this it will not only affect your staff’s mental health and wellbeing – it will also have a long term ripple effect on their productivity and engagement.
The good news is this doesn’t mean you can’t implement a work from home strategy. There are ways to make sure both your introverted and extroverted colleagues are well looked after.
Here’s how you can look out for your extroverted colleagues
Thankfully we’re not short on options when it comes to looking out for our extroverted colleagues. Below are some cost-effective ways to keep your employees engaged.
1. Host virtual fortnightly or monthly socials
Proof our Paint n Sip session was a success
Some good old fashioned team bonding does wonders for the whole team. If you’re organising it so that it can be a team-wide event don’t forget to look out for your introverted friends by giving them enough notice or making it optional so that they have time to process.
Consider having themes such as #AnimalsBeingCute or #FoodiesAndWine or book clubs so that people can join based on their interest.
You can do this virtually, or by a remote-first style where colleagues that are in the same city get together. The Employment Hero brand team did ours virtually so our colleagues in Australia could say hi to their UK and NZ based friends. Yes, we hosted a unicorn painting competition.
Not being biased here, but it was super fun.
Looking for more remote team building ideas? We’ve got 39 activities for you to check out.
2. Make use of online games Image Credit: Skribbl
Have fun playing online games such as Skribbl. This is a great option because you can play it with an unlimited number of teammates without having to sign up. The aim of the game is to draw a word that Skribbl provides. Points are given to those who answer correctly and bonus points for those who are the fastest.
The best part? You can have fun even if you can only draw stick men.
3. Create a social channel on Slack for water cooler chats
All work and no break can lead to disengaged teams unable to build rapport. Make sure you’re having those all important water cooler chats by creating a social channel on your messaging platform. You can have them by theme, or general.
Communication tools such as Slack make it easy to create informal channels that your team can choose to join. Whether you’re a foodie, a fan of animals being cute, games or bookworm make sure you have a variety of interest groups so that you can get together and have some fun on common ground!
We suggest creating an optional get together perhaps once a month so that it does not clash with any personal life or work life priorities.
4. Have virtual coffees together
Grab a drink of your choice and book coffees with each other. They’re not only a nice way to ease into your day, but a great way to bond especially if your team is growing. Even if it is a half hour chat, it can be a great way to feel energised. You can easily do this with ease using Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Switching contexts and engaging with someone not only helps break up the feeling of solidarity that can come up when working from home, it’s also a helpful way to spark ideas and creativity.
That’s all folks
We hope that you feel inspired in your search for ways to look out for your extroverted team mates, and have shown that it is possible for everyone to adapt to working from home.
Don’t forget to make use of Employment Hero’s remote employment software which can not only help you save time with your HR admin tasks, but can also empower your colleagues with rewards and recognition for their hard work.