Introverts make up a quarter to half the population, and if you have an office full of people, you may want to plan your office fitouts with introverts in mind. This is especially true if your business is focused on a creative industry such as writing or designing and you want your staff to have the solitude that many creators crave. Here are some elements you need in your fitouts.
1. Small areas for intimate conversations
Rather than focusing on large board rooms for meetings and collaboration, focus on small spaces for intimate conversations. Introverts, in particular, tend to prefer intimate conversations with one other person or a very small group of people, and you want small alcoves with a couple of inviting chairs where that can happen. Large board rooms full of lots of people clamoring to share their ideas can be overwhelming for many introverts.
2. Noise deadening materials
Many introverts tend to be overstimulated easily, and this can be exacerbated by lots of noise as well as by lots of people. To cut down on the noise, utilise lots of materials that absorb noise. For example, rather than choosing plastic desks that sound tends to bounce off, choose wood desks that absorb sound waves. Similarly, choose carpet or cork over hardwoods or polished concrete.
3. Private cubicles
Many offices turned to the open style to encourage collaboration, and while that works great for some, it can wear out an introvert. In other cases, businesses have turned to cubicles because they don't take up as much space as individual offices.
If you don't have space to give everyone in your office their own individual office, you can still use cubicles, but if you want them to appeal to introverts, you need to make them as private as possible. Keep the walls high and make them as spacious as possible.
4. Natural elements
If possible, find some way to integrate natural elements into your office. Incorporate potted plants into your decorating plans, but also consider being more creative by exploring unique elements such as vertical plant walls, plants hanging from fixtures in the ceilings, or planting troughs built on top of filing cabinets.
5. Curtains over glass walls
If you have a lot of glass walls in your office, you may want to offer an optional layer of privacy by adding curtains to these walls. That way, if some of your more introverted team members are using these spaces, they can close the curtains as needed for privacy.
Adding elements like these protects your introverted staff and ultimately your bottom line. Introverts recharge when on their own, and they get tired after spending lots of time with other people. However, if you provide elements like these, it will provide your introverts with what they need so that work doesn't wear them out as much, and that can help boost productivity.