Remote work is often billed as an introvert’s fantasy. Silence and solitude adds up to space to dream up big ideas and buckle down for deep work.
But what about our friends on the other side of the social spectrum? Extroverts thrive with connection, not to mention an energetic, or even frenetic, environment. Too much peace and quiet can drive an extrovert to distraction.
If you’re struggling with the abrupt transition from office to home, it might surprise you to hear that Doist has plenty of extroverts thriving in remote work. Here’s how they do it — and how you can, too.
Start your day with video coffee chats ☕
Extroverts are energized by interactions with others — so why not start off on the right foot?
Beginning your morning with a virtual face-to-face serves two purposes. One, it brings a social element into your day right away. Two, it keeps you accountable — you’ll have to wake up, make a cup of coffee, and get dressed (at least from the waist up).
Pump up the jams 💃
Studies have found that extroverts easily link feelings of pleasure with their immediate surroundings. That’s one reason that muted, static environments can actually become distracting or distressing for extroverts.
This is easily fixable. Add excitement by scheduling regular dance parties (a perfect use of your five minute break with the Pomodoro technique) or playing instrumental music that fits your vibe. Take it up a notch by co-creating playlists with coworkers or recruiting your pet for a mini rave.
Schedule virtual coworking sessions 💻
Staying focused is a challenge for everyone — no matter your personality. But sometimes all it takes to stay on task is a buddy.
Virtual coworking sessions are one part socialization and one part accountability. It’s easy to set one up:
Schedule a time with your work partner (and don’t cancel).
Declare your goal for your session.
Work on your tasks separately, cameras on but microphones off.
Recap your accomplishments and give virtual high fives.
Create a crew at a coworking space 👯🏿♀️
Extroverted Doisters swear by coworking spaces. Dani Garcia in business development at Doist, has found that going to a coworking space brings him into contact with people from the creative, cultural, and artistic sectors — who each offer unique perspectives.
While physically attending a coworking space is out of the question for many at the moment, some have transitioned online — where members connect across industry for camaraderie, idea sharing, and guidance. Or, at the very least, that social interaction you’re itching for.
Discover remote work meetups 🍻
Meetups specifically for remote workers are part support group, part work party, and part party party. Chase Warrington, head of business development at Doist, found a group of remote workers in Valencia that meet weekly to work and then grab dinner.
Over the past few weeks, many have become reconfigured into virtual sessions — with shared mindfulness practices, topic-specific breakout sessions, priority setting, and (of course) some work. You can find your local meetup with a simple online search.
Take regular stretch breaks “with” coworkers 🤸
If you work virtually, you’re often bound to a desk and chair, staring at a computer for eight-plus hours a day. Staying seated for that long isn’t the best for the body, so integrating movement into your schedule is a must.
With a plethora of at-home exercise classes, yoga flows, and mindfulness sessions available online, there is definitely something that will work for you. It’s even more fun to share that time with a coworker — even if that coworker is your dog.
Plan online lunch and learns 🥪
Pack up your sandwich and head to your virtual workplace, where there’s a lot to absorb. While in-person lunch and learns are fantastic for inter-department insight and collaboration, they easily translate to the virtual space.
From learning how to write like a pro to how to survive remote work as a parent, there are an infinite number of topics to cover. Do you have a skill that you’d like to learn? Or, better yet, teach? Set up a 30-minute, optional meeting to share skills and expertise company-wide.
Socialize your after-work activities 🤼♀️
If you were getting most of your social needs met at the office and using your free time for solitary projects, now is a wonderful time to switch up that dynamic.
Before joining Doist, Chase threw on headphones and worked out at the gym alone. After realizing that he needed a little more mingling, he switched to group exercise classes. “My favorite part about going there is just chit-chatting with others as a break in my day,” he said.
While he’s not exercising in groups during this crisis, he suggests asking: What small changes can inject more social life into our day-to-day?
For Chase, that means taking part in his gym’s live virtual workouts — where he does kettlebell swings with water bottles in a backpack alongside his gym mates.
Prioritize spending time with loved ones 🤟🏾
Less energy spent on coworkers can translate to more energy available for family and friends. “I often go to whichever city one of my friends works in, work in a cafe close to their office, and then meet up with them for lunch or dinner,” says Doist Support Specialist Rikke Lohse.
Travel is not currently on the docket for many of us, but game nights, movie marathons, and shared meals can move online. Why not reconnect with long-lost college buddies, ex-coworkers, and even your second cousin twice removed?
Be honest about how you feel 💕
While there are plenty of benefits to remote work, there are negatives, too. One lengthy Stanford study on working from home found that remote workers were a full-day’s-worth more productive each week, took less sick time, and were less likely to quit than their in-office counterparts. However, more than half chose to head back into the office at the end of the study. They simply felt too isolated.
Loneliness in remote work is real — even Doist CEO Amir Salihefendić, an avowed introvert, has struggled with it. But just because you aren’t seeing your coworkers in an office doesn’t mean you can’t make genuine connections with people right now – both virtually and in person. It just takes more intention.
How is working remotely going for you and your extroverted colleagues? Share your advice or empathy on Twitter @doist or in the comments below!