With so many businesses looking at modernising their office spaces, we’ve always wondered how the way an office is designed affects people with different personalities. It can be easy to assume that a workforce in a particular industry is made up of people who have very similar personalities, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s usually the job role within a business which attracts people of a similar personality, meaning there is generally a mix of various types of people making up the business.
With this in mind, a recent study by OPP who are experts in business psychology has found that personality really does have a massive impact on the type of workplace that they prefer to work in.
The study found that many features of modern offices catered more to people who seemed to have a more extroverted personality than those who were more reserved and introverted. These included features such as open plan office spaces and desk sharing, which make the environment more open and shared than personal and enclosed off from other people, which many introverts prefer.
Using the results of a personality test, followed by a survey about their current workplace, the extroverted employees reported being happier in their workplace and had significantly higher levels of job satisfaction as opposed to the introverts who reported that certain factors in the workplace such as desk sharing made them feel uncomfortable. However, there were features that both introverts and extroverts preferred, such as having quieter areas dedicated to working alone when needed.
With different personality types having very different opinions when it comes to the perfect working environment for them, is there any way in which an office design can cater to both introverts and extroverts? One way is to have different workspaces with different working conditions that workers can choose between to do their work in. Have a selection of open plan spaces as well as access to private offices as well and let your employees decide where they want to work each day. This lack of seating plan will give the employees freedom to choose the perfect place for them to get on with their work, making them more productive in the long run. You never know, you may find that people will swap to the opposite working environment every now and then!
Similarly, it’s important to provide space for staff to get away from their desks every now and then. This doesn’t have to be a huge room; a small kitchenette with tea and coffee facilities is good enough to give your workers a change of scenery, as well as somewhere to catch up during their lunch break. You could also dedicate a space to a quiet zone where employees can escape to if they feel the need to work in silence.
Taking an interest in the type of people that you are employing and catering to their needs is a sure-fire way to keep your business being productive, and although many people don’t understand it, office design is the first place that businesses should be looking if they encounter issues with productivity.