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Building a Collaborative Environment for Different Personalities

Every workplace has an array of different personalities. There’s extroverts, introverts, the dependable ones, the calm and collected and the hot heads. Having all of these characteristics working together can be slightly tricky, especially if there aren’t resources tailored to these different personalities to keep them productive.

With each personality comes different needs from a workspace. Some may want a quiet place to sneak away to in order to get things done. Some want a collaborative learning space where they can receive feedback, and some are just content with the essentials, like a cube of their own.

So, what’s the best way to meet all of these personalities’ productivity and collaboration needs? Whether you’ve got the advantage of creating a workspace that accommodates all personalities, or you’re already an established company with little wiggle room for change, here are some tips for creating a collaborative environment for two major different personalities:

Extroverts: This personality thrives in an environment that encourages feedback and casual, unplanned talks that often spark ideas for the bigger picture. If you’re in a position to create and plan out your office from scratch, consider having a social space devoted to these types of meetings. Whether it be a foyer or small cafe with coffee and snacks, or something as simple as an open breakroom, you’ll be sure to create a social and collaborative environment for this personality.

Don’t have the opportunity to build from the ground up? Consider having open cubes or offices that allow an extrovert the ability to get feedback from those around them. Whiteboard walls are also a great place for this personality to work with a group. Visualizing concepts in ideation sessions encourages creative and innovative ideas for an extrovert.

While it’s important to have these social and open spaces for collaboration, you also need to consider those who like to work quietly, and alone.

Introverts: Introverts recharge with reflection and analysis, so they tend to prefer quiet solitude. That’s why it’s so important to also have a place for them to be productive—both online and in the workplace.

Online collaboration is also key for introverts. Project management tools, like Central Desktop by PGi, help foster collaboration. With these types of tools, introverts can start discussions, create forums and work together with various personality types—all without the anxiety of having to interact in a large group to get a project done.

An instant messenger application for employees, like Skype for Business, is vital for introverts, letting them collaborate with their colleagues without feeling the social pressure of meeting in a large group.

As far as a physical place for introverts to work, offer closed offices or quiet workspaces. For example, at our PGi headquarters, we have a floor dedicated to innovation and collaboration, but it also offers quieter workspaces with closed-off offices, standing desks and discreet booths for those who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of noisier floors.

The right work environment will supercharge the collaboration and productivity in your workplace. The wrong type of environment will eventually drain the energy for some and lead to conflict for others. So, when considering the different personalities that are working together on a daily basis, remember that different groups need different tools—and environments—to succeed.

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