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The Introverts Guide to Surviving in the Workplace

By Edited Oct 5, 2016 2 2

Being an introvert is hard more often than not. Feeling uncomfortable in most large social situations and having a more difficult time creating small talk, it's not a lot of fun. However, most of those situations can be avoided with a simple no and just heading home. However, an unavoidable part of life is having a job and dealing with all the social intricacies that go with that. Some introverts are lucky enough to exclusively work from home, however most of us have to adapt to working with people. Particularly difficult workplaces to navigate are those popular open air ones where you are just surrounded by people and social stimulus eight hours a day.

Introverts work better in solitude and silence. The constant chatter of your office and co-workers interrupting your work is libel enough to drive you crazy. What's worse is because you lack the social skills of an extrovert, your personality and work style may come off as cold or "not a team player." Which could lead to you losing your job if times for the company get tough.

How do solitary individuals survive this chaos? Try the following simple steps to help make your working hours more productive and less stressful.

working as an introvert

Find Places For Quiet Time

If you are afforded some time for breaks or a lunch hour, find some places that are quiet. Finding a quiet spot on your own might be a bit of a task, however exploring your office building should bear fruits. Whether it is a conference room or a stairwell, there will always be some place quiet to go when your noisy workplace gets to be too much.

It is no secret that introverts work better in an environment where they are alone and things are quiet. In a constantly noisy environment things can get a little stressful especially when it is nonstop. When introverts get stressed their focus and work begins to lag. So take some time out of your day to go to your quiet alone space. It will give you that focus boost that you need to get back on track.

It is difficult when planning an office environment to please everyone, so if you are in serious need of some quiet place to work, try approaching your boss about it. Tell them that you would be more productive if you could work from home or at least wear some noise cancelling headphones. Some extroverted bosses can't quite grasp the concept of "quiet time", however if you want to keep this particular job you will need to make them understand.

talking to coworkers

Make a Ritual Of Talking To Co-Workers

You'd really rather not talk to most of your co-workers, I know. However, introverts tend to buckle down, stay at their desk all day an work. It's not healthy and downright boring at times. Sure, you get a lot done but most companies want the world from you. They want you to work like an introvert and team-play like an extrovert.

Instead, set aside a time during the day where you go check in with your co-workers. have a conversation, maybe not even about work, but something. Even the most solitary people need other people sometimes. It is good to have workplace connections for the times you want to talk about things, or need help.

Making socializing into a daily schedule will make socializing seem less daunting, even if you pop in to a co-workers space to say hello. It may seem like a waste of time at first until you actually need help, then those relationships you built will go a long way. Having people know who you are in an office is also a great way to get a promotion to a position with an office. An office with a door and some nice quiet time.

Don't Be Afraid To Lead

Speaking of promotions, being a leader may not seem like something the introverted you would want. Sure, an office with a door that closes and some quiet time seems nice, but all that responsibility and people depending on you does not. Being in a lead position may seem like the perfect job extrovert who can connect an motivate people, but studies have shown that introverts can do just as good of a job.

For example, the CEO of Douglas Conant was an introvert. To motivate his employees he would take the time to write personal and heartfelt thank you letters to employees who were doing excellent work. He wrote over 3,000 of these thank you notes while he was at Campbell. If you were to receive a handwritten letter of praise personally from your CEO, wouldn't you be motivated?

Introverts are more likely to relate to employees and actually take their ideas, suggestions, and complaints and do something with them. Introverts are used to being overlooked, so in a lead position they rarely overlook any cog in the machine.

 Plus in a position of power you can feel free to call less large meetings and more intimate meetings. these are less stressful and ideas flow a lot better. An introvert doesn't want to lead a big meeting and an introvert doesn't want to have to sit through one either.

breaks at work

Take Time to Rest

This means taking breaks throughout the day and vacations. It is easy to burn out from doing work all day while trying to ignore all the constant social stimulants and distractions. Introverts get stressed by this more easily than other people. Don't be afraid to use those vacation days to go somewhere quiet or just spend a week at home by yourself.

Renewal isn't just for slackers and more people need to realize that all people need time to recharge to perform at their best. Too much work and no play makes people more than a little crazy.

So next time you feel your stress building up and time at your quiet places isn't helping, and the stress is still there even after a night at home. It may be time to take a vacation and do something you like doing without the constant chatter of an office.



Dec 2, 2013 7:52am
I am an introvert with an office and a door that I treasure. I liked your article. Friendy tip - you may have misspelled 'libel.'
Dec 6, 2013 11:20pm
I would like to thank you fir making an article on how the introvert can survive in the workplace. Being selectively mute, I never could hold on to relationships while in high school. Now, I 19m just trying my very best to be what I can to break my silence and keep a good lifestyle. So, again, I would like to thank you for writing this article and inspiring us introverts to be something better.
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