There are quite a few myths surrounding coworking spaces. However, the one that probably affects people the most is that coworking spaces aren’t right for introverts.
Well, this couldn’t be far from the truth… and we’ve got the numbers to prove it!
An annual shared workplace survey shows that: “22% of coworking members identify as introverted, while 30% were extroverts.” Not much of a difference, eh? Turns out, coworking spaces are as effective for introverts, as they are for extroverts. Let’s take a detailed look at why introverts can actually thrive in coworking spaces…
How Coworking Spaces Actually Work Well For Introverts
To understand why coworking spaces are the oysters that create pearls out of introverts, you have to unravel the personality first. Modern pop culture has divided the introverts and extroverts into separate circles. That’s a distortion.
First, these personality tropes actually exist on a scale, not as extremes. What that means is just because a person identifies as an introvert, they don’t automatically abhor socialising. There are days when introverts would love to collaborate with others or just crave casual conversations.
Second, introversion and extroversion are more than a persona. It is about where an individual gets their energy from. For example, to work at their best, extroverts need to participate in conversations, while introverts are more likely to observe one. Coworking spaces have something for both!
Now that we’ve established that introversion is a relative concept, and that coworking spaces can suit all kinds of personas, let’s take a look at what coworking spaces have to offer to the introverts…
1. The Social Time: Believe It Or Not
For most introverts, the brain is a constant deluge of anxiety-racking questions. Thoughts like ‘should I talk to the co-worker next to me’, ‘am I being anti-social’ and even ‘am I disturbing the person with too much conversation’ are part and parcel of everyday work life.
Believe it or not, coworking spaces erase this issue. How so? Most of them either have a planned social time or a specific space. When an introvert knows that talking to a co-worker sitting in the lounge area is part of the collaborative culture of coworking spaces, they are not harried about disturbing someone. Similarly, they can focus on the task without the pressure of conversing with people during their ‘work-time.’
The set social time is helpful in one more fashion. Introverts rarely mingle of their own volition. They need a subtle nudge. A question from the coworking community manager such as “we’d really like you to attend the Friday evening event” might slowly rid them of their hesitation to socialising. It gives them a chance to open up to people and opportunities, something they don’t get elsewhere.
2. The Flexibility To Work Alone, While Together
Call it “working independently, together” or “working together, alone;” the effect remains unchanged. Shared workplaces generate a sense of community, so much so that even when you are working alone, you are never lonely.
For introverts, this is one of the biggest positives of coworking and the reason why they switch from work-from-home. Working in seclusion creates an insular feeling that in the long-run impacts work, adversely.
Shared workplaces give introverts a choice, they offer flexibility. You can work with other entrepreneurs when you so wish or plod away in solitude. They never lock you in an environment that is against the grain of your personality.
If you require time away from people, rent a dedicated desk or better yet a private room. If you want the company of others, rent a hot desk for the day.
3. The Confidence To Be Bold
Talking to different people, it is the burden of work. No man or woman can outpace it. There comes a time when you have to speak, you have to converse on varied subject matters. For introverts, this is a big load, indeed.
Coworking spaces are like training grounds. Say a founder glitches their first marketing pitch because of their introversion. A co-worker is very likely to help them learn how to go about it better.
Essentially, shared workplaces prepare introverts on how to get over the hesitation of talking to someone new. They help reserved people shed this reluctance and be bold enough to speak to a crowd. And because coworking areas are intrinsically built to succour and support the community members, they do so with infinite gentleness.
4. The Community Managers: Allies In Disguise
The one trick every introvert learns rather quickly is to find allies. These are people who offset their reserved nature. Coworking spaces have in-built allies in the form of community managers. These are people whose task is to make every member of the coworking branch feel comfortable. When introverts are too shy, it is community managers who come to their aid.
From making formal introductions to helping identify members with a common interest, community managers are like magic wands for introverts. They facilitate networking when their nature acts like a hurdle.
5. Introverts Find Their Tribe In Coworking Spaces
The myth says that walking into a coworking area is like walking into the first year of college. The anxiety to fit in is high. The truth is quite different. Even with the fear of social interaction, introverts of all shades find their tribe within these collaborative walls.
Just because coworking projects an image of fun people milling about, doesn’t necessarily make it true. Rather, shared work areas have individuals dedicatedly working on their tasks and when the need arises quietly collaborating with others.
It is what makes them so perfect for introverts. You get to work in an environment that is focused. You work alongside people who are passionate. You work in a driven atmosphere that aligns with your mindset.
If you are looking for a coworking space that offers both private and open spaces, get in touch with us at WorkWise!