Listen Now

It has been over a year now since many people have started working at home full-time.  And now many have started to return to work. What have you learned this past year if you were telecommuting for the first time?  Did you find more productivity working from home?  Did you have enough human connection or did you feel a sense of isolation?  What will change about your work now?  This is a great time to have conversations about your strengths and needs as an introvert and promote understanding of different personality types.

Article referenced in this episode:

DUST, SCOTT AND CONNLEY, MEAGAN –  “How to design a plan to return to the office that works for introverts,”

Get my book: 

Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

Contact the host of Quiet and Strong :

David Hall
Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:
Typefinder Personality Assessment

You may also like:
Quiet & Strong Merchandise

Podcast Transcript

Introverts and the Return to Work

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet and Strong Podcast, Especially for introverts.  I am your host, David Hall and creator of  This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally we will air each episode on Mondays.  Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. 

How are you doing? Do you work from home due to the pandemic?  Or have you always worked from home?  Or maybe you work doesn’t lend itself to working from home and you would like to try it out.  It has been over a year now since I started working at home full-time.  I likely will return at least partially in a few weeks.  I definitely have some mixed feelings about it.  

Someone said in a meeting this week, introverts are loving being left alone all of the time and the research shows that they are more productive.

What do you think about this statement?  There are two pieces to it that I want to get into today.  Are you loving being left alone?  What is your environment like?  Has it been better or worse this past year?

If you are working at home?  Have you been more productive?  Why or why not?

I just did a bit of online research and read an article in Fast Company, How to design a plan to return to the office that works for introverts, Fast Company, SCOTT DUST AND MEAGAN CONNLEY

According to this article “Thanks to the pandemic, 50% of Americans are working remotely.

Employees are more engaged and committed when they can be their authentic selves and work in ways that align with their tendencies and preferences. For example, in a two-year study across 500 employees, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University found that compared to employees working face-to-face, employees opting to go remote were 50% less likely to leave the company and had a 24% productivity boost, primarily because they didn’t have a commute and had far fewer interruptions.


Focus – Key to introvert success! How much do you need?  Great time to have the conversation.

I don’t always have focus at home as there are five of us living here.  So I am not sure how much better it would be in a different situation with less family members.  I do know that focus is a need and Multitasking is not effective. I have been trying to schedule blocks of time for certain projects.  Otherwise there are always new things popping up that demand your attention and diminish your focus. Are you returning to an open office plan?  Maybe there is a private space you can use from time to time.  In the past this hasn’t always been available when sometimes work space is tight, but I do remember giving an overworked introvert a day in a private space and she thought she was in heaven.

Recharge – Did your recharge look any different?  Back in the office sometimes just walking to meetings or other people’s desks may have been a break.  Now I take more deliberate breaks because I really need to get up from the same old spot.  Back in the office, I probably ate at my desk far too often and rarely took a long lunch.  I now schedule an hour every day and may use the time for a personal business, hang out with my wife and kids, or may just chill or even take a nap.  I was not having this kind of recharge at the office.  Which of these things could I or should I continue? I’m not sure I would ever be able to take a nap. Also, what about your environment?  I have a recliner in my room.  This is often where I take my lunch break.  My office back at work isn’t big enough for a recliner, but maybe it is now time to see what kind of break spaces we have and if they can be improved.

The second part, how about Connections – 

Back to the article:

Notwithstanding these benefits, connecting with others in person is at the core of the human experience, and not having that ability could cause some to feel lonely and isolated. Additionally, virtual interaction will never be a perfect substitute for face-to-face communication. For example, research illustrates that the richness of face-to-face communication makes it easier to develop a shared understanding of team and organizational objectives.

So in the statement, introverts are loving all of this alone time.  What do you think?  It is a myth that introverts want to be alone all of the time.  In general, we may have fewer friends, but these friendships tend to be deeper.  Connection is very important to all, but it will just look different between introverts and extroverts.  I know after this much time, I have been feeling a sense of isolation, from work colleagues and the world in general.  Zoom meetings have their place, but can be just as draining as an in person meeting.  And I do miss meeting with people in person.  I do fear that many meetings we used to have in person will be virtual now. Again, we need to work for the right balance. What does your telecommuting future look like?  I think it will be some combination for most, while some may not ever return to the in person environment.  You know what you like and hopefully this past year has given you the opportunity to have some different types of work experiences.  What environment do you want for yourself?  You may need to justify how telecommuting makes you more productive?  Or you may need to justify why you don’t need to meet in person or maybe why you do?  Yes, introverts may request in person meetings. 

So this is an excellent time to have conversations about your strengths and needs and what works best for you and what doesn’t.  You may have had more focus time now than you were ever able to before and you can see how it helped your productivity.

Have conversations with your supervisor, your work teams? 

This could be a great time for a workshop to talk about introversion, extraversion, and other personality factors.  I have done many workshops through work such as the Myers-briggs, true colors, strengthsfinder, Disc.  Self-awareness can be gained by articulating your strengths, needs, and preferences to others and then in turn listening to them.  You may find some common ground, but also places where you are unique and things that help you shine.  Introversion is not good or bad, but sometimes I need a little space alone and that is not strange but what I need.  An introvert may think is strange that an extrovert seeks out people when taking a break. Help others know how you work best and things that you learned this past year.

Thank you so much for joining me.  I look forward to further connecting with you.  Reach out, david@.  I will add social media channels to the show notes. Please comment on the social media posts related to this podcast.  Send me topics or questions and we can address those on the show. So many great things about being an introvert and so we need those to be understood.  Let’s keep the conversation going.  Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be Strong!

Recommended Posts