Right now everything is harder - even going to the pub and simply working out how to navigate the one-way system from where you are to the loo and back again.
One thing that has struck me - at least at work - is that the acceleration of digital transformation in our firms has some advantages for introverts. Digital balances the social dynamic more towards those with useful knowledge - rather than those most interested in football.
Without the back to back physical meetings, less reliance on 'being social', networking over drinks and events the folk who find it harder to get their hard work noticed, their input recognized, their voice heard have found space to do just that.
For those who find it hard to stand out in a crowded room, feel uncomfortable being center of attention in a physical meeting, despise networking events, or simply would rather think before talking, the shift away from physical meetings to digital offers an opportunity.
Video conferencing results in more structured meetings (if you can get over the whole video thing), chat functions give those who prefer writing their ideas rather than shouting them out loud a platform, and one of the best ways to influence is now by being active online.
I often hear from my clients that it was a surprise that one of their team created such great online insights when given the chance to do it easily and quickly. Often it is not the noisiest person in the room but rather the thoughtful, quieter, deeper thinker who does well.
What is also obvious is that imposter syndrome remains an issue for everyone so if you work with those who have started to find a voice online do make sure you give positive feedback. Even a quick note saying how much you enjoyed their post, article or comment will go a very long way to helping them get their voice.
Speak up! Be bolder! Think faster! As an introvert in the workplace, these are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind during meetings. Research shows introverts often express their ideas more hesitantly, tend to wait for others to finish rather than interrupt, and need a little more thinking time before speaking up. So introverts generally give themselves a hard time and see themselves as less effective than extroverts when it comes to brainstorming sessions, panel discussions, group meetings and any situation where impromptu speaking skills are advantageous. However, working from home and teleconferencing has proved, I believe, a surprising help for introverts, leveling the playing field a little. I see that this switch to Zoom/Teams meetings and teleconferencing is actually an opportunity that’s giving quieter folk the chance to shine.