An ambivert making heads or tails of the open plan office
13 September, 2022
By now I think most of us have had an open office work experience, even if it’s only for a few days of the week. The open office, like all work environments, has its pros and cons. The one I work in, 5 days a week, is usually quite energised. With said energy comes a fair amount of buzz, mainly due to overlapping conversations amongst the team and with clients. Depending on the individual, this buzz can either be stimulating or draining.
Being an ambivert, I experience both sides of the coin and how I am affected by the buzz is different each day. Some days I find the energy in the informal setting of our open office to be stimulating. It’s great being able to chat with my colleagues throughout the day, bouncing ideas off one another, voicing opinions about products and ideas for office layouts etc. This engaging, impromptu communication encourages creativity to emerge and that is the part that I love the most.
Flip the coin, and the same noisy environment can be draining, toxic and distracting. We don’t live in a perfect world, disagreements happen, arguments ensue, and as a result a new destructive energy shows up. As an ambivert (and for introverts too), it doesn’t even need to be conflict that causes this feeling of depletion, it can simply be that too much is going on for you to focus.
My mood influences how I react to, or deal with, the buzz and is affected by things like my current circumstances, the stresses and strains that are present in my life, my goals and how close I am to achieving them, and the moods of others. As many of these factors are unpredictable and constantly changing, so is my mood. I’m like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates, which is not only frustrating for me but for those around me too. However, I’m not moody, I’m just an ambivert.
Knowing this about myself, it is paramount that I take regular breaks to reset and regain perspective. During my breaks, I take the time to identify the aspects of my current situation that may be causing anxiety or elation. Understanding the reason behind my mood helps me to manage it, and by extension, my reactions later in the day.
To successfully work in the open office, to benefit from its innate energy, we need to understand and respect how our teammates are wired and in turn how we, ourselves are wired. With some understanding and a measure of consideration, introverts, extroverts and ambiverts can not only work together in harmony, but in so doing can help build a stronger, closer, happier team.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]