Office Design Tips for the Introvert, Extrovert and Everyone Else
No two businesses are the same, and every employee has his or her own distinct personality.
So why then should every business office space (with very different people) be identical? The answer is, it shouldn’t.
Today’s companies are concerned not only with having enough space, but also with having the right kind of space. In addition to planning for the right number of workstations to accommodate their employees, modern organizations are looking to design environments that reflect the personalities and preferred working styles of those employees—because that ultimately leads to greater employee satisfaction and performance.
Primary types of office design
Out of this trend several incarnations of the traditional office space have emerged. Let’s look briefly at the most common types...
Rather than keeping employees separated in private offices and cubes, companies opting for an open office design place a strong emphasis on communication, collaboration and flexibility.
This quickly growing trend involves sharing offices among certain team members according to their schedules and responsibilities. Hoteling allows firms to maximize their available space while boosting productivity and efficiency.
Instead of choosing either open or private office design, some organizations are configuring custom spaces that accommodate how their teams work. For instance, if a company’s typical day encompasses multiple meetings and also focused work, the office might include a mixture of group huddle areas, conference rooms and private nooks.
With the growing number of remote team members comes a larger demand for teleworking spaces. This type of design is conducive to employees who frequently travel to satellite office locations, client sites, or who work from home offices.
With so many different workplace considerations, what’s the best way to choose? Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a space is the personalities of the employees within the office.
How personality testing influences office design
At any given time, a company might have employees from many different personality categories. Each personality type is linked to a distinct working style. After all, every person is unique, influenced by their individual talents, upbringing, education, health/wellness, socioeconomic status and career trajectory.
A person who works best in a quiet, secluded area would gravitate toward private nooks and high-walled workstations, while an extrovert who thrives on frequent interaction would prefer a more open and collaborative office space. This contrast can make it challenging or even impossible to choose a singular office design. In many cases, a combination of multiple design elements is used to create the most efficient and accommodating workspace that satisfies the four modes of working: Learning, focusing, socializing and collaboration.
Many of today’s firms use personality testing, such as the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI), during the interview process. The most significant finding of the MBTI is which of these six personality types best defines the candidate, which has a big impact on the person’s preferred working style.
Favorite World: Introverts vs. Extroverts
People in this category are generally more reserved and quiet. Introverts usually need longer periods of time to make decisions, mull over ideas and prepare responses. They also tend to require stretches of solitude to recharge between social interactions.
To get the most out of this personality type, a company should integrate modular desks to create personalized, dedicated spaces away from high-traffic areas, allowing for quiet, focused work. Try the Arcadia Intima Modular high-backed informal groupings or the ERG International Laguna Hideout.
This personality type thrives on social interactions. Extroverts are very verbal, eager to share their ideas and opinions, and enjoy participating in brainstorming sessions and office gatherings.
Outgoing employees usually work best in offices that include open spaces, huddle rooms and lounge areas. Some examples of effective furnishings for extroverts include Global Bungee Multi-Purpose Tables, Global Nutcracker Multi-Purpose Tables and Global Wind Linear Lounge Seating.
Information: Sensing vs. Intuition
Employees with this personality type are highly tuned-in and sensitive to their surroundings. They use their five senses to derive physical information and process it in a logical, practical way.
Sensors are best suited to more traditional environments with well-defined areas, sensible desk setups and quiet spaces. Try our AIS Divi worksystems.
Those in this personality category are highly imaginative and creative. These individuals learn best by thinking through situations and anticipating the future outcome based on patterns of activity.
Intuitive employees often work best in spaces that emphasize visual elements and aesthetically pleasing elements. Popular elements include ergonomic chairs and spaces designated for technology, like the Global River series.
Decisions: Thinking vs. Feeling
Often well-suited to leadership and management roles, thinkers are rational and logical. They typically make decisions based on objective facts and deductions, and steer clear of personal biases and emotions.
Thinkers work best in minimalist spaces that are close to the action while also allowing for periods of focused work. Large, modern desks, such as Global Zira Laminate Desking, are generally the best choice.
These types of employees are more nurturing, supportive and empathetic. They tend to make decisions based more on feelings and emotions, and place a high value on harmonious relationships with others.
Feelers require a high degree of privacy, preferring designated work areas with gentle lighting, plants, comfortable seating and water features. Adding privacy using the Peter Pepper Slalom with unique seating like the Darran Grove Stools can provide a wonderful atmosphere for these folks.
Structure: Judging vs. Perceiving
Employees in this personality type like to have things decided and orderly. They are task-oriented and prefer to use lists to stay organized. This type of person is a planner and likes to plan out their work to avoid rushing to make deadlines.
“Judging” employees work best in designated work areas with few distractions and ergonomic chairs. They may benefit from being stationed away from noisy break areas. Use KI Genius Architectural walls to provide the separation they need without breaking up the open and collaborative nature of your modern office.
Those in this personality type prefer to keep their schedules loose and not overly planned. They are casual, go-with-the-flow type individuals. These employees thrive under pressure and enjoy the rush an approaching deadline brings.
Perceiving employees would enjoy working in open spaces near other employees. Since this personality type likes to mix work with play, being near lounge areas would be beneficial. They would enjoy the use of modular office furniture that can be multi-purposed to fit the task at hand, like AIS Aloft height adjustable benching.
Choosing the best office design for everyone
The best office design for your company ultimately hinges on how your employees prefer to work – and that will differ for each team member. The best place to start is by determining their personality types and inviting their feedback.
Not sure which office design is best for your company? Our team of professionals would be happy to give you a guided tour of our collection. Contact us today via phone at 877-779-3409 or online through our contact form.
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