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Turn the video on: the extrovert’s WFH survival guide

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The world is often seen as divided into two clear personality types: introverts and extroverts—though in truth it’s more nuanced than that. 

Some people are introverted extroverts, others are extroverted introverts. Others switch between the two depending on the situation. 

You probably already know the extrovert mold—life of the party, outgoing, vibrant, everyone drawn to them. People who thrive off of engagement. They like to communicate through talking, enjoy group work, and feel isolated if they spend too much time alone. 

According to one recent study, extroverts’ ability to schmooze and tendency to be motivated by rewards gives them a significant leg up over their introverted peers when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder. 

But what about when they can’t be in these social situations? For example, when there’s a pandemic, or when more and more people are starting to work from home? What’s an extrovert to do when they’re missing that boost they get from in-person team meetings and water cooler chats?

Luckily, the one thing extroverts do have when working from home is the video meeting. 

Let’s look at five ways that you, the extrovert (whether you’re a remote worker or just can’t be in the office today) can use video meetings to stay connected, focused, and energized:

  1. Move calls and messaging to video by default.
  2. Set aside time to brainstorm and talk through ideas with your team.
  3. Find your fellow extroverts and make a point of connecting regularly.
  4. Look for ways of connecting with colleagues outside of work-related tasks.
  5. Be always on.

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1. Move calls and messaging to video by default.

A great way for any extrovert to stay connected and engaged with colleagues during the day is to switch all your audio or voice-only calls to video calls. This way, you’re taking advantage of every non-face-time conversation and turning it into an opportunity for face-to-face interaction. 

For example, RingCentral Video lets you turn voice calls into video meetings just by hitting the video camera icon.


The only caveat for this is that not every colleague—especially if they’re less extroverted—is going to appreciate having to turn their webcam on. If they aren’t having it, you could switch to phone, but see if you can get them to agree to at least one video call per week, thereby helping them build their video call skills and confidence while helping you get the social interaction you need.

2. Set aside time to brainstorm and talk through ideas with your team.

As we mentioned earlier, extroverts tend to think much better on their feet and when they’re interacting with others (unlike introverts, who think much better alone in quiet rooms). Because of this, it’s a good idea to set aside time each week to brainstorm with your team. 

Make sure you’re specific about the goals and mission of each brainstorming session and try to be a good mediator by getting as many people to participate as you can. You’ll be scratching your itch for interpersonal communication while moving projects forward: a win-win. 

3. Find your fellow extroverts and make a point of connecting regularly.

This one’s arguably a combination of numbers 1 and 2, but the addition here is that you’re making a point to connect with other extroverted colleagues. 

Even extremely extroverted people are sometimes shy about taking the initiative (or they just don’t have time) to suggest a new get-together or invite others to talk. 

If you’re noticing this, try to bring people—especially the extroverts on your team—together and provide that much-needed dose of daily connection and engagement. 

You’ll be seen as a leader (and you’ll be doing your extroverted colleagues a huge favor).

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4. Look for ways of connecting with colleagues outside of work-related tasks.

A happy-hour. A virtual ping-pong game. A TikTok competition. Whatever fun things you can think of for your team members to do beyond just work, schedule it. 

Team building doesn’t have to take place in climbing gyms and baseball stadiums, and creating genuine connections with people is all the more important when everyone is off working in their own little worlds. 

5. Be always on.

These days there are many ways to be connected during work hours. 

Some teams have a specific video meeting channel they leave open for folks to pop in and out of—kind of like a virtual lounge or office kitchen. 

Grabbing lunch? Log in and say hi. Heading out at the end of the day? Say goodbye, just as you would if you were in the office. Your colleagues will appreciate it, and so will your inner—or should we say, “outer”?—extrovert. 

Video meetings: an extrovert’s best friend?

Even the most extroverted person could use a little downtime. 

As a final thought, consider that working from home can also be an opportunity to nurture the introvert in you—the quieter side that likes quieter times.

Take working from home as a chance to develop your introverted side a little more—and when you need some social time, just open up your video call and use the tips above!

And if you need a software to use for video meetings, why not try RingCentral Video?

Originally published Apr 07, 2020, updated Feb 26, 2021

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