Modern workplaces are often built with extroverts
in mind. Collaborative, open working spaces encourage co-workers to socialise and bounce ideas off of each other. The chatter and energy of a buzzing workplace gives extroverts the fuel they need to be productive and progress in their careers.
But what about introverts
? Introversion tends to be associated with negative traits, such as being shy or anxious. However, that perspective is shifting as more employers realise the benefits of having introverts in the workplace. Calm and quiet, introverts can excel in leadership roles and make an asset to any team.
The benefits of having introverts in the workplace
1. Introverts are creative.
Creativity doesn’t necessarily require collaboration. Introverts crave quiet time alone for reflection and recharging. It’s solitude that allows them to brew their best ideas. Research has found that, as long as your desire for solitude isn’t rooted in fear or anxiety, introversion can foster creative thinking and work.
Without all of the noise, introverts can look inward and allow their imaginations to get to work
. It’s no wonder artists, writers and other creative individuals tend to be introverts.
2. Introverts are more thorough and cautious when making decisions.
When it comes to decision-making, introverts tend to take a more cautious and thorough approach
. Introverts prefer to consider multiple outcomes and make a careful decision based on these outcomes.
A 2008 study that was published in the Journal of Motor Behavior
found that it takes longer for introverts to process information than extroverts. What this means is that, compared to their extrovert counterparts, introverts tend to be more insightful, thoughtful and analytical about the world around them.
3. Introverts are focused inward.
tend to keep to themselves. They are less interested in small talk and prefer conversations where they can make real connections. They tend not to get involved in workplace drama and politics. Free from these distractions, introverts are able to stay focused and turn their attention inward to get more done.
Introverts are generally more drawn to quiet work environments with fewer distractions,
which gives them the space they need to get work done.
4. Introverts are empathetic.
Empathy is an undervalued trait in the workplace
, and this is another area where introverts can shine. Empathy is not necessarily a trait exclusive to introverts, but the way in which introverts feel empathy is different from extroverts, who tend to project outward.
Along with being self-aware, introverts are very sensitive to and aware of the needs of the people around them.
As a result, many are naturally considerate of their colleagues and tend to be more compassionate. It’s no wonder then, that many introverts end up working as counsellors
Their ability to see things from other people’s perspective is an invaluable trait in the workplace, especially when it comes to problem solving. But this insight can also be helpful in other areas, such as product development or even marketing
where you need to be able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Their empathetic nature helps introverts excel in the workplace, particularly when they are in leadership positions. Empathetic leaders help create an inclusive work environment where everyone feels like they are part of the team.
This can help boost morale, productivity and loyalty among employees.
5. Introverts are great listeners.
One of the greatest advantages that introverts have in the workplace is their ability to listen
. Introverts tend to feel more comfortable listening than talking. They prefer to think before they speak and are mindful of what they say.
Being a great listener has many benefits in the workplace. Listening means that introverts spend more time absorbing knowledge
from colleagues and leaders. Learning and understanding what is expected of them helps introverts quietly progress in their careers.
Their innate ability to listen makes introverts ideal for leadership positions
. They hear and analyse all of the issues and listen to all sides of the story when solving problems or making decisions.
6. Introverts strive for a better work/life balance.
For introverts, social interaction is draining. While that may seem like a negative trait, it can be beneficial for promoting a healthy work/life balance
The introvert is happy to leave the office at a respectable time – not because they don’t want to work, but because they recognise that they need personal time to rest and recharge.
Their natural craving for solitude makes introverts more likely to engage in self-care practices that help them become better employees.
A healthy work/life balance is important to your overall health and well-being. It also helps you stay productive and makes you a better colleague. Introverts instinctively know when it’s time to put on the brakes and step away from work to recharge.
Introverts bring many beneficial traits to the workplace. They’ve mastered the art of listening, are happy to work independently, tend to steer clear of workplace drama and can be very productive in the right environment.
Are you an introvert looking for your next career move?
If you identify as an introvert and looking to develop your career, consider studying a course with Upskilled. With a range of courses
in business, community services and IT, you can work towards a nationally-recognised qualification
that can help boost your employment prospects. Get in touch with the Upskilled team and enquire about a course today!
Emilly Parris is a writer, journalist and content specialist with several years' experience in digital marketing. She covers topics in e-learning, career development and the social sector and is passionate about online education.