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  • Writer's pictureCécile Hemery

The Introvert survival guide to working in Tech

Updated: Oct 2, 2023


Group of people engaged in a work meeting


While the tech industry is full of introverts, it’s not as adapted as could be to our introverted ways. In order to position themselves as an attractive place of work and attract young and skilled, Tech companies often resort to showcasing their “fun and friendly” offices, activities and set-up. However those things are not necessarily attractive to introverted people.

Before becoming a coach, I have worked for 15 years in the mobile and mobile gaming industry. Here’s the survival guide that I have created based on my own experience and my experience as a coach coaching introverts

1 . Get an HQ role

A regional job means that you’ll be working remotely with most of your colleagues. Whether or not the company allows remote work, the people you work with are all over the world. While this may require some time zone gymnastics, it also means that you’re not face to face with everyone constantly and have more opportunities to have your down time.

2. Choose a small office

Is that the opposite of the rule above? Well, no. You can still get an HQ role while working in a small office. The trick is to work in a hub.

I was based for almost 3 years in our 10-people Singapore office, working with studios all over the Asia and Pacific region, therefore having the benefit of having a more intimate atmosphere. Bonus: people would often travel.

3. Get a wall or window desk

The Holy Grail of the introvert desk in the open space, I know, but it had to be in this list. Having your back to the window and the desk, that way, no one can jump on you unannounced and you have more peace and quiet. You have more control over your private space.

Though it doesn’t always work out.



The author is pictured sitting at a work desk, behind her is a window and you can see construction workers at work directly behind her.

4. Establish a no “Back-to-back” Meeting rule

This one is hard to do on your own, there might be some lobbying to the company necessary.

Overall, while NO ONE enjoys a full day of back-to-back meetings, introvert or not, this can be especially draining for introverts, because it leaves no space for alone time.

Maybe book a meeting with yourself in your calendar to ensure “down-time” in your day.

As a coach, I create my booking slots with a mandatory break between sessions so that I have time to write notes, refresh, reset my energy and prepare for the next session. How long that break should be is up to you!

Screenshot of a calendar schedule filled with meetings

5. Opt for a slightly off-peak schedule.

Everyone working 9 to 5+ in your office?

Start at 7am or 8 am in the morning, to enjoy the quiet of the empty office early in the day, and leave early.

Or start at 10:30, and leave later, having some quieter time once people start to leave.

Bonus: if you commute, you’ll also avoid crowded trains.

7. Isolate yourself in a meeting room

Do not feel shy about picking up your laptop and work somewhere else.

An empty meeting room.

The empty cafeteria outside lunch time.

There’s always a spot that is less populated in the office. Go there for your quiet time.

8. Be open and honest about your introversion

A few years ago, there might not have been as much awareness about introversion traits as there is today. Talk about your introversion and your need for quiet time, it’s OK for you to be who you are.

Propose team activities that explore team dynamics and personality traits, these can be very useful to help people recognise and accept each other’s different ways of working.

There are plenty of solutions. Honour yourself and what your body needs to be at your best. Down time and quiet times now means better productivity and creativity later. Everybody wins there is balance.

 

Which ones of these techniques have you already tried? What would you add to the list?

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