There are various personality tests and frameworks that group people according to the way they think and operate. One of the most popular is the Myers-Briggs model which is divided into 16 distinct types based on four key preferences:
By understanding these differences, workplaces can be designed to suit all kinds of individuals and help them to perform their best in a comfortable setting. You can learn about your employees personalities from the interview stage with a personality test and questions to better understand them, or it can be learned over time.
Designing Workspaces for Various Personalities
Let’s take a closer look at the distinctive personality types and how they can influence your office design.
Extroverts and Introverts
Extroverts are outgoing individuals who are energised by others. Open-plan offices are a great set-up for them as it fosters social interaction. Introverts, on the other hand, are introspective and gain their energy internally. They prefer to have private spaces where they can think and work. Another way to cater to this is by having spaces for different energy levels, be it lively or meditative spaces.
According to a survey by Gensler, 70% of employees in open office layouts are dissatisfied with the noise levels, and 66% are unhappy with the lack of visual privacy. Your team will likely have a mix of introverts and extroverts, so be sure to offer optimal spaces that cater to both of these preferences.
Focus and Processes
Sensing people live in the moment, while initiatives are future-focused. This normally factors in people’s career choices, be it action-orientated roles or thoughtful planning position. These are also traits that your HR department can keep an eye out for to fill gaps in your team dynamic.
Meanwhile, “thinking” types in the Myers-Briggs model prefer to look at objective facts, while “feelers” lead with their personal values. Both of these preferences hold value and can benefit companies. It is also important for businesses to incorporate this into their own branding, with a balanced mix of truth and value.
Openness to Experience
Judging and perceiving is all about the degree of openness to new experiences. It is not only about an inclination towards spontaneity, but also a testament to how people make decisions – either quickly based on defined characteristics, or slowly based on new possibilities.
Workplaces can hone in on this by offering creativity, flexibility, and stability. It is important to offer employees a reliable space to work, with natural elements that can improve their well-being and make them feel more comfortable. Spaces that inspire new ideas and have the flexibility to cater to various types of individuals can be beneficial.
As mentioned above, there are various personality frameworks. Here are some other popular characteristics which may influence your workspace.
Conscientious individuals have a driven, goal-oriented nature. For them, structure and organisation are essential for performing at their best. With guidance and goal posts, these perfectionists can thrive. It is also important for managers and executives to ensure that the business has clear goals to inspire the team.
Traditional office settings with a tried-and-tested layout work well for this type. This stability paired with clutter-free decor will ensure that the office is primed and ready for these individuals. Keeping these spaces extra tidy will also be highly appreciated by these types.
Agreeable Personality Types
Agreeableness is a trait that fosters great team work. However, agreeable people may require extra check-ins to ensure that they’re happy as the disadvantage of this personality type is hidden resentment.
Since these individuals are eager to please and highly adaptable, it is important to have spaces where they can feel rejuvenated and focused. Collaborative environments suit these types best as they can connect and champion their colleagues.
Dealing with Neuroticism
Neuroticism is associated with anxiety and depression. Since your staff will have varying levels of neuroticism, it is important to offer a balanced environment which includes dedicated workspaces which are calming and comforting for optimal performance.
While this characteristic can be helpful in identifying threats, any individuals in today’s age suffer with greater levels of anxiety and burn-out, it is important to create workplaces that don’t overwhelm your team and a culture that sets reasonable expectations and responsibilities for all.
Consider using calming colour schemes in your office design and spaces where people can comfortably take a break when needed.
Creating an Inclusive Office Environment
Inclusive workspaces cater to various personality types. One design doesn’t fit all – instead, it is important to offer diverse and considered spaces so that your team can operate at their best in terms of productivity, performance, and well-being.
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