Working from home in recent years has become more common than ever. And as much as it brings forward plenty of benefits, there are also some downsides to working from home. Especially if you are an extrovert working from home and missing the social stimulation you normally get from your coworkers.
As an extrovert, it might feel challenging to stay motivated and engaged without your usual social interactions. This can lead to all sorts of negative emotions which takes away all of the joy of working at home.
But don’t worry, there are various ways to make remote work enjoyable and productive even as an extrovert. Keep reading and learn how to.
Understanding the Extrovert's Needs in a Remote Work Environment
As remote work continues to become more prevalent, it’s important to understand how different personality types may be impacted by this shift.
Extroverts, in particular, may find remote work to be a challenging adjustment. If you are an extrovert, you may derive energy from social interactions, and remote work can feel isolating without the usual interactions in the workplace.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand what extroverts need to thrive in a remote work environment.
The Importance of Social Interaction for Extroverts
Research* shows that social interaction not only satisfies extroverts’ needs but is also crucial for their mental well-being. Without in-person interaction, extroverts may feel drained and unmotivated.
If you find yourself in a remote work environment as an extrovert, it’s important to find ways to replicate the social interactions that would typically occur in an office setting. This could include regular video calls with colleagues or virtual team-building activities. May I suggest being the frontrunner of the yearly April Fool’s fun?
It’s also important to recognize that not all forms of social interaction are created equal. While virtual communication can be helpful, it may not fully satisfy your need for in-person interaction as an extrovert.
As such, it may be necessary to find ways to incorporate in-person interactions into the remote work environment safely. This could include occasional in-person team meetings or coworking sessions.
Missing the Spontaneous Talks in the Office
One of the main challenges faced by extroverts is the lack of spontaneous and impromptu interactions that naturally occur in an office setting. Like saying something funny to your coworker next to you or joining a conversation between some colleagues. You won’t get that when you work from home.
These interactions can be a source of inspiration and motivation for extroverts, and without them, they may feel isolated and disconnected. To mitigate this, it’s important to create opportunities for spontaneous interactions in a remote work environment. This could include virtual water cooler chats or dedicated channels for non-work-related conversations.
A virtual water cooler chat does sound a little bit goofy but calling your favorite co-worker for a 5-minute talk during a break is a great way to get some social interaction.
Extroverts, in particular, may face unique challenges in a remote work environment. However, by understanding your needs and finding ways to replicate the social interactions that would typically occur in an office setting, you can actually learn to enjoy working from home.
But maybe working from home all week isn’t for you. Then you can consider working in a hybrid way thus getting the benefits of remote and office work.
How to Thrive: Create a Productive Home Office Space
Designing a workspace that stimulates creativity and energy is vital. Though you won’t get any social interactions from this, but having a nice place to work will certainly help you enjoy working from home even more.
Here are some tips to help you create a productive environment.
Design a Workspace That Encourages Energy and Creativity
Your workspace should reflect your personality and needs. Consider adding natural lighting, plants, or artwork to bring life to your space. You can take it even further, if you are a Star Wars fan etc., and make a Star Wars-themed home office.
Natural lighting can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and boost your mood. Plants can help purify the air and reduce stress levels. Artwork can provide inspiration and add a personal touch to your workspace. All of this makes your working-from-home experience much more enjoyable. It will take some thought away from feeling alone and isolated. Especially if you are working from home alone.
Another important aspect of designing a workspace is choosing the right colors. Colors have a significant impact on our mood and behavior. Blue and green are known to have a calming effect, while yellow and orange can stimulate creativity and energy. Consider incorporating these colors into your workspace through decor or furniture.
You can take inspiration from the principles of creating a Feng Shui home office.
Setting Boundaries in a Shared Space
If you share your living space with family or roommates, establishing boundaries can help prevent distractions and interruptions. As an extrovert, it is extremely easy to be caught in a chat with your roommate or partner. But try not to, as it will only distract you. However, if it helps you feel less anxious working from home, then do it moderately from time to time.
Dedicate specific hours for work and communicate them effectively to people around you. In that case, everyone will know when you are available for a talk, and when you are certainly not.
Having a dedicated workspace will mostly help with this as you can just close the door and keep people out.
How to Stay Connected with Colleagues and Friends
Working remotely can be challenging when it comes to staying connected with friends and especially colleagues. However, thanks to modern technology it is not as hard as it used to be.
There are various ways to leverage technology to stay connected and maintain relationships with people you care about. And, also very importantly, not feeling like you are missing out on anything with you coworkers.
Use Video Calls and the Many Opportunities That Follow
Virtual communication tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet have become essential in today’s remote work environment. They provide an excellent platform for virtual meetings and interactions, making it possible to catch up with your colleagues and collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world.
This is the perfect opportunity for any extrovert working from home. Just join an online call and you’ll be social in no time. Remotely, however.
With these tools, you can share your screen, present ideas, and work on documents together in real time. You can also record meetings for future reference or for those who couldn’t attend the live session. These features make virtual communication tools a great asset for remote workers.
Make sure that the background in your home office suits an online meeting. Otherwise, it can get a little awkward.
Reach Out to your Friends and Colleagues Who Also Work From Home
It’s easy to get caught up in work tasks and forget to take breaks. However, taking breaks and socializing with colleagues and friends is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. And if you have a lot of friends or family members also working from home, then you can easily reach out to them.
Schedule virtual coffee breaks, happy hour, or team-building activities with your coworkers. That can help you feel less “bad” about working from home as an extrovert.
Regular check-ins with your colleagues can also help you stay on top of your work tasks and ensure that everyone is on the same page. These check-ins can be in the form of virtual one-on-one meetings or team meetings. From this, you can gain some confidence in knowing, that you are not missing out on anything.
Also, make sure to check in with your boss. Actually, studies show that people working from home might be subject to working from home-discrimination. That is something you really want to avoid. If you already experience it, maybe you should try and seem even more busy when working from home to counter it.
Building and Maintaining Relationships as an Extrovert in a Remote Setting
Building and maintaining relationships in a remote setting requires effort and intentionality from you. A real effort. But as an extrovert, this effort will not seem like hard work. It should come naturally.
Without the luxury of in-person interaction, it’s essential to engage in conversations and actively participate in virtual meetings. This way, you can stay up-to-date with your colleagues’ lives and work tasks.
Another way to maintain relationships in a remote setting is by sending personalized messages to your colleagues and friends. You can send them a quick message to check on them or congratulate them on a job well done. These small gestures can go a long way in maintaining relationships and fostering the social needs that you, as an extrovert, have.
In conclusion, staying connected with colleagues and friends is crucial when working remotely as an extrovert. By embracing virtual communication tools, scheduling regular check-ins and social events, and building and maintaining relationships in a remote setting, you can maintain healthy relationships and foster team spirit.
Prioritizing Self-Care and Mental Health
Self-care and mental health are essential for anyone, but extroverts especially need to make sure they’re taking care of themselves, both physically and mentally.
It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, but making time for self-care is crucial to maintaining a healthy mind and body. Here you can get some tips to taking extra care for yourself as an extrovert working from home.
Incorporating Physical Activity into Your Daily Routine
Moving your body helps increase energy and reduce stress. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, whether it’s a lunchtime walk, yoga, or a home workout. Not only does exercise help improve physical health, but it also has numerous mental health benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters, and it can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It’s important to find an exercise routine that works for you and that you enjoy. This can help make it easier to stick to and can also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride. Whether you prefer solo workouts or group fitness classes, there are plenty of options available to fit your preferences and schedule.
If you need extra motivation in the shape of a target, you can aim at either 5.000 steps a day or 10.000 steps a day. That will help you get up and out of the office chair.
Establishing Boundaries to Prevent Burnout
It’s essential to establish boundaries between work and personal life, especially when working remotely. Take breaks, prioritize self-care, and log off when your workday is over. It can be tempting to keep working outside of regular hours, but this can quickly lead to burnout and can have negative effects on both your mental and physical health.
Without boundaries and specific targets, it is quite easy to feel lazy or tired when working from home. Because you fall into a slump of sorts.
Setting boundaries can also help you be more productive during work hours. When you have designated work time, you can focus on getting tasks done efficiently and effectively, without the distractions of personal responsibilities. This can help reduce stress and improve job satisfaction.
Seeking Support and Resources for Mental Well-being
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with mental health, don’t be afraid to seek support. As an extrovert working from home, the feeling of isolation can be overwhelming. But it does not have to be.
Many companies offer employee assistance programs, mental health resources, or counseling services to help employees cope with stress. Additionally, there are numerous online resources available, including apps, podcasts, and virtual support groups.
It’s important to remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking care of your mind should be a top priority. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you need it.
A New Hobby can Help an Introvert Working From Home
Working remotely can provide opportunities to explore new interests and develop skills. While it can be tempting to spend all your time working when you’re at home, taking breaks to learn new things and engage in hobbies can actually improve your productivity and overall well-being.
This will also take your mind off the social interactions you are missing as you are fully focused on mastering your new interest.
Exploring Online Learning Opportunities
There are various online courses that can help you develop new skills or advance your career. Consider taking courses in web development, marketing, or leadership. Or something even more relevant to you.
Many of these courses are self-paced, so you can fit them into your schedule whenever you have free time. Plus, learning new skills can help you feel more confident and capable in your work. Your boss might even want to pay for it as he sees you become more valuable from taking a specific course.
If you’re not sure where to start, try browsing websites like Udemy, Coursera, or Skillshare. These platforms offer a wide range of courses on different topics, so you’re sure to find something that interests you.
Joining Virtual Clubs and Communities
Joining online communities can help you connect with people who share similar interests. Whether it’s a book club or a fitness group, joining a virtual community can help you stay engaged and meet new people. Plus, it can give you a sense of belonging and help you feel less isolated when working from home.
If you’re not sure where to find virtual communities, try searching on social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also look for forums or discussion boards related to your hobbies or interests.
Many online courses also have followings or communities. By taking part in those you will get even better at the skill you are trying to learn. And, of course, as an extrovert, you will get more social stimulation.
Embracing Solo Activities That Fuel Your Extroverted Nature
If you enjoy being around people, consider solo activities that still give you opportunities to interact with others. For example, you can attend virtual events, such as concerts or conferences, or participate in online forums and discussions. Just going for a run can stop and stretching while chatting with a stranger can be a social boost for you.
This can help you feel more connected to the outside world, even when you’re working from home.
Some other solo activities that can help you stay engaged and energized include reading, writing, or practicing a musical instrument. These activities can help you recharge during breaks and prevent burnout.
Yes, working from home can be challenging, especially for extroverts. However, by understanding your needs and utilizing the numerous resources available, you can thrive in a remote work environment.
Remember to prioritize your mental and physical health, stay connected with others, and explore new hobbies and interests. By doing so, you can create a fulfilling and enjoyable work-from-home experience.