Take a look around you, what do you see? I see a world being created which is arguably better suited for introverts, particularly in the workplace.
Why do I say this? Well, there is an increasing use of virtual technology to communicate, with every business using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack. This is also combined with increased flexibility for employees to work from home.
Whilst this freedom and flexibility (it has been argued) is long overdue, it unarguably reduces the actual ‘in person’ interaction.
Is an extroverted person thriving where the end of a conversation is prompted by a big red button?
Does an extroverted person thrive in an environment where people choose the ‘camera off’ option?
Most experts agree that 70-93% of communication is non-verbal. Social interaction isn’t just about having a chat, it’s about body language and facial expressions. Can you really read someone’s body language if you can only see a head popping up on your laptop screen? Or if there are multiple people on the video call?
In this ever-growing digital workplace, when are the extroverts getting their fill of in-person contact?
Take it from someone who knows. Take it from someone who is so extroverted they nearly fell apart when not able to see (in-person) colleagues during the summer of 2020. Extroverts thrive off being around other people and getting that attention. Honestly attention is the best way I can explain things, attention matters to an extrovert. Can you think of anyone that gets a bit moody if it isn’t all about them? I can. So, what has happened to these people, what’s happened to their extroverted centric world?
I feel like the case is often made to make sure we look out for why and how it’s hard for introverts to exist in a more extroverted world. In 2019 Delilah Ho wrote an article about how it feels to be an introvert living in a world made for extroverts. I thought this was a good article at the time, but is it still valid in the current climate?
Introvert’s vs extroverts are something which has long been discussed. Which are best for business? How to have a blend that works for everyone? Even if one is ‘better’ than another? However, with the post Covid world and working environments now taking shape, is it more complicated than just one personality type v another? Are we missing something here?
The past 18 months has focused all of us on the importance of care for our mental and physical health. This is undeniably a positive. However, it has forced distance, and this does have an impact on people. I would certainly argue this is affecting the extroverts more than others.
I praise the world that has reduced the stigma that poor mental health holds you back and. I praise the world that doesn’t fear mental illness. However- social interaction is crucial for mental and physical health. Being around others, especially in the workplace gives a lot of people (particularly extroverts) a feeling of purpose and meaning in life. People who feel they have connections in life have lower levels of anxiety and depression. So, if everyone is at home, what happens to the extroverts? Can a real connection stay alive through the likes of Microsoft teams?
Humans need five to six hours a day of social interaction to survive but extroverts thrive off of more, how are they getting their feel when everyone is glued to a screen?
So, like I said, who’s looking after the extroverts? Is this the end of the extrovert?
This article was written by Simon Brown and Chloe Brown (who we should point out are not related.) Simon, the Founder of Digital 51 is a raging extrovert and would love to discuss your thoughts on this article, ideally over a coffee, but if not you can get him on