How Introverts and Extroverts Find Their Place in the Office

To focus or to collaborate? That is the question.


With so many companies eager to create the perfect office space, there’s been a lot of chatter about design concepts. Particularly, management is wondering which concepts foster both productivity and inspiration.

The original determinant of introverted or extroverted tendencies—the Myers-Briggs personality test—has given us all a firm idea of who we are and how we operate. While many psychologists argue that people fall into one category or the other, several new studies suggest that another cohort has evolved.

Ambiverts are the personalities that lay between introverts and extroverts on the personality scale. Some would assume they are outliers, but on the contrary, they are the chosen ones of the corporate world. They have the ability to exercise calm and focused calculation, all the while thriving in a fast paced, collaborative environment.

Nevertheless, many modern offices don’t offer separate spaces for collaboration and private work. In fact, a Steelcase study reveals:

95.3% of workers say having access to quiet, private places for concentrated work is important, but over 41% say they don’t have them.”

These figures are especially troubling for introverts, and probably prevent the growth of potential ambiverts.

The answer to the perfect office space seems to be one that combines plenty of space for privacy, while still providing areas for teamwork. By doing so, companies can continue to foster both introverts and extroverts, and ultimately, encourage them to embrace both personality tendencies.