Before I reveal how your business can profit from tapping into the introverts hidden skills I want to talk about open office planning.
Open office planning has received a lot of hype about its possible benefits but I would like to suggest that it does little to increase productivity – in fact it reduces it.
I am sure that there are numerous studies that can backup my statement but as always with scientific research there will be another research paper that states the direct opposite. A classic case is Aspirin. One study states its good for you, another states that its not – and around and around we go year after year. A great book on the subject is ‘Wrong: Why experts keep failing us–and how to know when not to trust them’. The book suggests (with a lot of proof) that ~90% of all research results are grossly incorrect.
So lets review what we know and hear from other people to work out why open office planning is detrimental to productivity…
=> So why do people always come into work early or leave late to catch up on work? Is it because they can actually get their work done when its quiet and no one else is around?
=> Why do people want to work from home some days? Maybe to have less disruption to do their work?
=> Can you or anyone concentrate if their is noise buzzing around you?
=> How many distractions do you think your employees have to deal with in open planned offices each day?
So why do we have open plan offices?
Well some believe its conducive to collaboration – that two (or more) minds are better than one when coming up with ideas.
Does that feel right to you?
Of all the people I have talked to both creatives and not the best ideas have come from solitary endeavours.
So why is that?
Well my guess is that if you are alone you can think more deeply about something. When you think more about an idea or issue your brain can offer more options – you cannot do that in a room full of noise. Logical right?
Okay so what is this hidden skill I am talking about?
I have already covered the importance of introverts to society in my initial post => Introverts are Key to the Success of Your Business and in the post I briefly mentioned the skills that only introverts possess in abundance.
One of the major skills only introverts can muster in large qualities and do well is the ability to singly focus.
When you can focus on one thing and concentrate on that thing deeply for hours on end then it seems logical that you have a better chance of coming up with a good idea or fixing a complex issue. Extroverts cannot focus as much as introverts can as their skills are different but ultimately for a business, once the sale has been made, you will need introverts to deliver a quality product/service.
As I mentioned in my initial post introverts are fantastic at focusing on something with massive concentration for hours on end and also have a love of detail – both skills required for a business to perform well.
However open plan offices are not good for focusing. The amount of distractions and general noise reduces any attempt at focus. So to encourage more productivity I recommend that you designate a certain portion of your office as quiet spaces where introverts can do what they do best.
We have 2 rooms in our environment where our staff can go to have a quite environment – there is no phone in the room and only one person at a time is allowed to avoid chatter. We call them ‘Cave 1’ and ‘Cave 2’.
So there you have it – the secret to our success in providing quality solutions for our clients. We give our introverts the environment they thrive in and in return we get quality solutions which results in a happy client and happy staff.