Learn strategies to help extroverts overcome the difficulties of remote work.
Working from home can be a major transition for anyone. That said, extroverts face particular challenges with working from home every day. While introverted colleagues may thrive when working remotely, extroverts can suffer from the lack of social connection. Declines in productivity, as well as job satisfaction and mental well-being, can result.
To help everyone in their company excel, small business owners who operate remotely must find ways to cater to extroverted employees’ needs. Extroverted entrepreneurs will personally benefit from the solutions we’ll share as well.
In this post, you will learn:
- The challenges extroverts face when working remotely
- Strategies for staying socially connected
- Best practices for focusing, tailored to extroverts
- Methods of building a structured routine that benefits extroverts
Let’s begin by exploring how lack of in-person social interaction affects extroverts—and how to overcome these challenges.
Lack of Social Interaction
Because extroverts thrive on social interaction, they may feel isolated or lonely when working from home. Energy can plummet if they don’t have a social outlet that recharges them. These strategies can help extroverts maintain social connections even when they’re not in the office:
- Scheduling virtual coffee breaks with coworkers. Informal chit chat can make work more engaging and foster connections.
- Collaborating via video sessions. Adding group work sessions or brainstorms into your weekly routine can liven things up
- Joining networking groups. Find professional groups in your area that meet up in person. If you’re an entrepreneur, join your local chamber of commerce to network with other business owners in your area.
- Getting outside of the house to work at least a few times a week. You’ll not only get a change of scenery, you’ll also benefit from the human interaction and new connections this brings. Build outside-of-the-house time into your work routine so it won’t take a lot of planning.
- Meeting up with coworkers for lunch at times if they’re in the same city. Catching up over a meal will do wonders for team camaraderie. If that’s not feasible, meet up with a friend or colleague from your networking group for an occasional lunch.
Next, let’s review how to enhance focus when working remotely.
In a solitary environment, extroverts may struggle to stay focused, causing productivity to slip. Their mind thrives in a dynamic social environment, while energy and attention may wane when working independently. These simple tips can help with boosting focus:
- Reduce information overload. A quick “break” to check social media or news can quickly lead to overwhelm. Change your browser settings to prevent you from going to social media sites, if need be. Try doing something active instead.
- Take a walk. Being out in nature—even on your own city street—can improve attention and lower stress. Take time to notice the birds, trees, sounds, and smells in the world around you.
- Try an exercise that strengthens your ability to focus. Neuropsychologist Kim Willment suggests this one: Read something for 30 minutes, setting a timer for every 5 minutes. Each time it goes off, note whether your mind has wandered. Increasing your self-monitoring ability will help you maintain focus.
- Use the Pomodoro technique. There’s an app for that! The Pomodoro technique will help you get into the flow of focusing for a set time (e.g., 25 minutes) and then taking a short break.
- Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep and exercise. Being low on sleep can dramatically decrease focus, working memory, and cognitive abilities.
- Create a productivity playlist packed with music that energizes you. For extroverts, background music or noise is often crucial—especially for creative types! Music can stimulate your mind to prevent it from wandering as you focus on work responsibilities, as Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains in Harvard Business Review. Choose music that matches your personality, he advises. Upbeat songs often work well for extroverts.
- Use noise-canceling headphones. According to Chamorro-Premuzic, if you’re doing a new type of task and struggling with background noise, music is less effective at boosting focus. This is because it can be distracting when getting comfortable with a new task or skill.
Now, let’s look at how to build structure into your work day.
Lack of Structure
Having a solid routine helps extroverts stay disciplined and focused. However, working from home can lead to a lack of structure, which can prove challenging for them. And being highly conscientious increases the difficulty an extrovert experiences when working remotely, causing even more discomfort with lack of structure. In other words, highly capable and reliable extroverts may suffer the most. Here are several ways to surmount that challenge:
- Maintain a strict schedule. Wake up, eat, and unplug at the same times each day. Start your day with a morning routine, like having breakfast before you begin work.
- Take regular exercise breaks. Build these into your schedule as well. For instance, take a five-minute stretch break once an hour.
- Do particular types of work at certain times of the day. For example, you might dive into independent work that takes a lot of concentration first thing in the morning, while your mind is fresh. Before lunch, you might catch up on email. Then, you might schedule meetings and collaborative sessions for the afternoon.
Despite the challenges that extroverts often face when working remotely, they can learn to thrive in this environment. Moreover, small business owners and entrepreneurs can take steps to surmount these challenges in their workplace. Even if they don’t have a central office, they can create a central hub for employees to congregate as often as desired.
For additional tips on how to make working remotely work for you—or to check out our space—contact Interworks. If you’re in the Mt. Airy, North Carolina area, we offer a place for solopreneurs, small business owners, and remote workers to network and find community.