For numerous introverts out there, working from home is a dream. This is because they do not have to experience the sensory overload that comes with a physical corporate setting. It also saves them from the pressure of performing within the office.
But surprisingly, research shows that an introvert struggling at work from home is more likely to undergo mental health issues. The study carried out by Greater Divide clearly reveals that this was a major problem experienced by introverts during the pandemic when it was necessary to work remotely.
Did you know that 4 out of 10 employees are introverts? Have you ever seen them struggling at work and wanted to understand them better? Then you need to be aware of the struggles they face on a daily basis while working remotely.
Struggles Faced By Introverted Workers
1. Having Insufficient Space Or Time To Think
It is usual for an introvert struggling at work to feel anxious due to noisy neighbors, family members, children, or even pets! This is especially troublesome for those who prefer to think best in peace and quiet.
In such cases, you may notice that your introverted workers have trouble brainstorming meetings online. This is because they struggle to find a quiet space or some time to gather their thoughts. Their limited privacy eventually takes a toll on their productivity and wellness.
2. Being Misunderstood Or Feeling Disconnected
It is not unusual for introverts to be perceived as withholding or aloof. Perhaps you have thought the same thing about your introverted workers too. But this is not at all true; introverts are just less likely to tell you everything that is on their mind, afraid of being misunderstood.
You may also find that an introvert struggling at work will take frequent breathers, especially if you encourage non-stop socializing via video calls or group chats at your workplace. This is because introverted workers tend to feel disconnected and isolated from regular people.
Remember, they do not function like extroverts, but that does not mean they don’t have anything to say.
3. Being Undervalued
You will notice that introverts do not tend to toot their own horns. Instead, they prefer having their work speak for itself. Since they are not physically present in front of you, it may become impossible to know the amount of effort they put into a task.
This means that you may not be able to know about the many accomplishments of your remote introvert workers. They may even miss out on well-deserved compensation or recognition due to this!
4. Feeling Intimidated
Have you ever been in a meeting with your superiors and felt a lump in your throat? An introvert struggling at work may feel this way most of the time. So, you may not hear them speak much during online meetings or even turn on their camera in video calls!
How Can You Help An Introvert Struggling At Work From Home?
Below are some tips that you can follow to help your introverted workers function better in a remote work environment.
1. During meetings
In One-On-One Interactions
- Keep the chit-chat to a minimum because it may exhaust or intimidate your introverted teammates. Try to get to the substantive parts quickly.
- Try not to ask them questions that they may think are too invasive or personal.
- Give them time to open up to you and get to know you, and avoid putting too much pressure on them. Pushing a friendship with them.
- Use methods of asynchronous communication to give them freedom and space to work. Remember, you do not want to intimidate them by keeping too close an eye on them.
- It is better not to fill in pauses between their sentences. Once they stop talking, count to three before you respond.
2. In General
- Make prior appointments with your introverted employees rather than just calling them without notice.
- Respect their need for private space. Do not keep pushing them for answers if they are not responding to your messages right away.
- Give them time to focus on one task at a time because multi-tasking may overwhelm them.
- Remember to recognize their accomplishments and pay close attention to their work because they may try to undersell their contributions and achievements.
The Final Word
Introverts love spending time alone. It gives them the opportunity to think and recharge. The same principle applies to introverted workers who prefer working alone and performing their tasks at their own pace.
However, while remote work may sound great for introverts, it does not mean that they do not face their fair share of challenges. At the end of the day, if you want your team to be more cohesive, productive, and engaged, you will need to cater to an introvert struggling at work, along with all other workers.