When you picture a successful employee, probably someone bursting with positivity, radiating energy, and engaging fellow coworkers comes to mind.
However, extroverts aren’t the only employees who can show great success in the workplace. Often overlooked due to their lack of self-promotion, introverts can actually bring a high level of creativity, aptitude, and cooperation to the table.
We tend to believe that all the productivity comes from the group, when in fact, there really is a benefit to solitude and to being able to go off and focus and put your head down.
Unfortunately, most work environments aren’t as welcoming to introverts as they could be. According to Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, workplaces are increasingly set up for extroverts, with open plans floor and little privacy.
“We tend to believe that all the productivity comes from the group, when in fact, there really is a benefit to solitude and to being able to go off and focus and put your head down,” said Cain.
Below, we’ll lay out several ways you can foster a positive environment for introverts in your workplace. Not only will these employee perks help them thrive, but it will also benefit your company’s productivity and results as a whole.
1. Give the benefit of the doubt in interviews
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: in general, extroverts interview better.
According to a study conducted by Rutgers and UCLA, lively extroverts were more likely to impress in job interviews and overshadow their introverted peers to win the position.
However, the study also found that introverts are more likely to listen to team members and collaborate with people better in the long-run.
Is that to say you should never hire an extrovert for a position? Of course not. But if you find an introvert to be a little timider or reserved, don’t necessarily make that a strike against them in the interview process.
2. Offer massages at the office
Massage is an incredibly popular employee perk and one that just about anyone can get behind. Calm music, low lights, a quiet space — these are all ingredients for a tranquil environment that will help introverts unwind and relax.
help your employees with neck and back pains as well as tension headaches
Studies have also shown that massages help reduce anxiety and cortisol levels in the body, helping your team to become more socially receptive and productive. If you’re looking to bring a massage therapist on site, chair massages are a 10-2o minute fully-clothed massages and can help your employees with neck and back pains as well as tension headaches.
With Zeel you can get on-demand massages in 85+ cities — the perfect addition to your corporate wellness program.
3. Allow headphones
As Cain shared in her TED Talk, introverts “feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.”
Introverts can quickly feel overwhelmed by outward stimulation. Groups of people talking, sounds of activity or other events going on around them could deeply distract them from completing meaningful work.
Although some managers may take offense to an employee putting on headphones and tuning out of the group dynamic, it’s a simple employee perk that helps introverts get more done.
Another way you can prevent breaking their concentration: send them a Slack or email to talk about something instead of tapping them on the shoulder and cutting off their flow of thoughts.
4. Give the option to work remotely
Remote work is a popular employee perk all around! If your introverted employees feel overwhelmed by a large, bustling office space, allowing remote work from time to time could make a huge difference.
Having a day of quiet to focus on their work will do both you and the company a world of wonders. And with modern communication tools like Slack and Zoom, it still won’t be hard to keep in touch, either.
5. Plan low-key team bonding activities
Not everyone is built for crazy nights on the town in large group settings. Introverts still want to bond and make friendships, but usually in a more laid-back way. A few ideas for team bonding activities for introverts include:
- Game night with a small group
- One-on-one lunches or drinks
- Movie theater outings
- A trip to the park
- Hiking and other nature activities
If your introverted team members feel like they have space to themselves for a little while, they’ll be more capable of coming back to the big group dynamic later.
6. Have a pet-friendly office
Having pets around the office is a great icebreaker and encourages team members to casually socialize with each other.
having pets around helps people form stronger social bonds
It’s also a beloved employee perk that will bring introverts out of their shell. According to a Harvard Health study, having pets around helps people form stronger social bonds. And it only makes sense — how can you playing together with a sweet golden retriever?
7. Seek out their input
Studies have shown that meetings highly advantage extroverts, which makes sense. The people who speak up get the attention and resources.
However, there are special steps you can take to run meetings that are more inclusive to introverts, women, and remote workers as well.
For example, that may include going in a round robin to get everyone’s opinion, seeking out those who speak up less and ask directly for their opinion, or ask for meeting feedback in writing. This will allow introverts to digest everything that’s gone on and give you thoughtful feedback afterward.
. . .
There is no one perfect way to please introverts at work, but by implementing even a few of these employee perks, you may be surprised by what it brings out in your introverted team members.
As Stephen Hawking put it, “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”