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Introverts find modern offices uncomfortable

Modern offices are all about desk-sharing and open-plan floors, but for introverts, that's a nightmare.

workplace woes, open-plan workplaces, open-plan offices, introverts in offices, office behaviour These results support previous research into the unpopularity of open-plan offices and hot-desking and the positive effects of personalisation. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Modern office features such as hot-desking or desk-sharing and open-plan floors appeal mainly to extrovert workers but others find them uncomfortable, a new research has found.

The findings highlighted that extroverts are significantly happier at work and have higher levels of job satisfaction and also pointed out that personality differences are behind areas of conflict in the office.

“Understanding how personality interacts with the office environment is key to improving job satisfaction and productivity,” said researcher John Hackston, head of research at OPP, a Britain-based company providing business psychology solutions. The findings are based on an online survey of over 300 people about their current office environments. The participants had previously completed a personality test to ascertain their personality type.

“These results support previous research into the unpopularity of open-plan offices and hot-desking and the positive effects of personalisation. However, there are some simple changes that can be made to improve staff satisfaction and increase productivity,” Hackston said. “These include allowing staff more storage for personal items when hot-desking; creating smaller neighbourhoods within open-plan offices; not overdoing clear desk policies as clearing away all personal items can be demotivating to some people and providing quiet zones for people to work in when needed,” Hackston noted.

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The study was presented at the British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology’s annual conference in Nottingham recently.

First published on: 11-01-2016 at 09:58:28 am
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