When I bounced this title off a few people, there was a grin on their faces. In certain cases I received a thumbs up on WhatsApp with a smiley. To my delight, the reaction was quite spontaneous!
It felt like a sense of identification with a context that I did not even need to elaborate.
In recent times, quite a few people who have no issues with the introvert tag, have been content in their self-contained zones – no more physical meetings and long coffee sessions to endure, no unnecessary bonding over coffee with office colleagues.
“I just want to do my work and go home. I’m not really interested in any long lunch session or drinks out with the boss. Spare me the effort and let’s just focus on work” are common complaints. Interactions beyond a point can be exhausting for this set of people. A Gulab Jamun party on Friday involving office mates may give them a momentary feeling of joy, but they can do without it.
Not all these people are necessarily introverts but have been classified as introverts. With a close set of friends they can go on and on with endless conversations.
Unfortunately, some of these take a backseat in the world of physical interactions that favour extroverts. The typical extrovert who is able to pull his weight around in the office, bouncing with confidence in every interaction, stays ahead of these introverts.
Fortune favours the extrovert
Ashwin Sanghi in his book, ‘13 ways to get bloody lucky’, shares that people who interact with others more, attend more parties, have more friends etc., are luckier than the average population. In this process, they also build the requisite contacts which enable them to become luckier.
The competitive world prefers the lion to the quieter breed
Face to face aggression in your body language can enable you to get your point across in many discussions. The less you speak up the less you are heard.
So let’s come to the point.
How does work from home benefit the introvert? For this, we need to understand the semiotics of the work from home environment vs office environment
- A video call with an option to switch on or off whenever you need to
- A bedroom that offers you a cocooned world for you to be your real self
- Homemade meal consumption within the home and not in an external environment
- No constant physical follow up on jobs
- No one literally sitting on your head
- Regulating the noise and distraction of the outside world and functioning in an environment that enhances your focus in a manner that benefits you
- A quick afternoon nap that can perhaps also double as the best “Me Time” that one needs to refresh their brain cells.
Further, the video call setting forces us to pause and try and listen to the other person. Interruptions can completely disrupt a video call and thus everybody seems to slow down just that little bit, to give the less aggressive voices a chance to speak up and put their point across. The body language advantage that perhaps the more extroverted dude has in a physical interaction, is slightly subdued in a video call format.
This actually allows video calls to become a more level playing field between the slightly subdued introvert and the more overpowering extrovert.
Some of the introverts also seem very particular about whom they wish to spend their time with. Being pulled into meetings that you’re not required to attend is another bane of the physical world.
Working from a cocooned environment that offers you the ability to retreat from a conversation for a few minutes or seconds when you choose to. BRB (be right back) enables you to switch off when you need to and alter the pace of the conversation as per your convenience.
Let’s be a little flexible in defining the introvert.
An introvert may not necessarily be shy but may just want to withdraw from a conversation and conduct it at a certain pace that makes him or her more comfortable.
Often in a group or gathering, people were asked why they were so quiet. Why they were not in their element. Physical interactions can be inflexible for a person who just needs some time to collect his thoughts. Typical stereotyping classifies this breed as introverts.
A lot of introverts like being in their self-contained zones. Their near and dear ones are perhaps the only interaction they need. While we all may immensely miss our mall visits, Friday night sessions, the constant chattering with relatives and friends over the weekend, this group seems pretty content leading a quiet and blissful existence.
The frequency of this new world perhaps matches their frequency, and one can see they are more in tune with their real selves than ever before.
It is going to take quite a while for the world to return to a regular office routine. Also, there are conversations about a hybrid working model which may suit introverts better. With a little bit of flexibility in working from home and going to the office a few days a week, they will perhaps outshine their peers in both professional and personal aspects.
Looks like the virtues of an introvert will be celebrated in a more flexible world order in the future.
Hopefully the tag introvert can be glorified as referring to people who are self-contained and content, not really seeking the frills and fringe benefits of the physical work life environment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This guest post has been written by Aditya Jaishankar, Founder of Voxbox – a playground for your kid’s imagination.
Aditya is an advertising veteran with over 20 years of experience in brand strategy and communication. He can be reached on LinkedIn and Facebook.
*This is a sponsored guest post.
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