More than just sound dampeners in coworking spaces, various interior fixtures are a chance to lean into the design aesthetic of your flex space.
What introverts and extroverts need in your coworking space
Creating a coworking space that is welcoming for both introverts and extroverts can a challenge. How do you demonstrate emotional intelligence with your space to meet people where they are?
Some people are charged up by being around other people. Crowds are exciting. Groups are exhilarating. Energized conversations are… energizing.
These people are extroverts. Being extroverted doesn’t just mean you enjoy being the center of attention or are comfortable in front of a crowd, though often those factors are true. Rather, it means you feel your personal battery refill when you are in these social situations, and are then drained by quiet environments and being alone.
Similarly, introverted people aren’t always the quiet ones. They don’t seek out libraries and monastic offices for fear of interactions. They might be the center of attention and in front of the crowd, too. They just need that kind of distraction free space and limited exposure to people in order to feel their own personal battery recharge.
Creating a coworking space that is welcoming for both introverts and extroverts can be a challenging task, but it is a way you can demonstrate a level of emotional intelligence with your space that meets people where they are.
As a coworking space owner or manager, you want to create an environment that is inclusive and comfortable for all types of personalities, who often have very different needs. Here are some tips for making your coworking space welcoming for both introverts and extroverts:
- Offer a variety of workspace options: Different people thrive in different types of work environments. Some introverts may prefer a quiet, isolated workspace, while extroverts may prefer a more collaborative, open space. By offering a variety of workspace options, you can accommodate the needs of both introverts and extroverts.
- Encourage socialization: Coworking spaces are often praised for their ability to foster a sense of community and collaboration. However, this can be intimidating for introverts, who may prefer to work independently. Encourage socialization in a way that is optional and non-intrusive. For example, you can have regular events or social hours, but make it clear that attendees are not required to participate.
- Provide quiet areas: For introverts who need a break from the hustle and bustle of a coworking space, it is important to have quiet areas where they can retreat to. These might include private offices or designated quiet rooms.
- Encourage respect for differing work styles: It is important to create a culture of respect for all work styles within your coworking space. This means being mindful of the noise levels in shared spaces and respecting the need for quiet and solitude.
- Offer flexible memberships: Some people may prefer to work at a coworking space on a part-time basis, while others may want to use it as their primary workplace. By offering flexible membership options, you can accommodate the needs of both introverts and extroverts.
- Provide systems for members to signal their status. You can use colored blocks or flags (Green means go and red means stop) that members can use as public signs of their willingness to be social and chat while working. Or be inspired by the ‘quiet car’ on commuter trains and designate one area of your space as such.
The best way to configure your coworking space for the needs of introverts and extroverts is to ask your members: how can we best provide the environment you need? What helps you be your authentic self that is also your most productive?
Now go forth and create a coworking space that is welcoming and inclusive for all types of personalities.