The Olympics, Working From Home, And The Extrovert Personality

During the London Olympics over the past two weeks, people at my office have been encouraged to take vacation or work from home when possible, especially since our office is so close to the Olympic Park that you can see it out the window. And it's worked beautifully for London's transportation system.

But this post isn't about the Olympics, no, it's much more exciting – it's about working from home.

I think most people love the idea of working from home. Just like a lot of people like the idea of being in a book club (until they realize that they have to actually read a book every month and commit to a meeting).

But working from home is not as fun as it seems in theory. I'm sure it's fun if you enjoy working in your pyjamas or being able to cook a three-course lunch. For me, the occasional day of working from home is fine, but when experiencing it over a few days in the past weeks, it was not thoroughly successful – it was more about trying to work from home, feeling very low energy and then berating myself for being, simply put, the most slothful and unproductive person on the face of the earth.

But I have a theory about what was going on. I've often wondered what the true difference is between an introvert and an extrovert. There are lots of theories, one of them being that we all display characteristics of both at different times. However, in the general sense, the idea is that extroverts tend to get energy from being around or interacting with other people, whereas introverts tend to find more energy in isolation.

I am pretty sure most people who know me personally would describe me as an extrovert. I speak in public (of my own accord), love parties and generally like to talk. However, as a partly only child (nine years between me and my brother) I also like time alone, mostly after many days of socializing.

But here's the thing. After deciding to throw in the towel and come into the office, my mood immediately lifted. And even though the office was pretty empty and my interactions with people remained more limited than usual, I just felt like I had more energy to do stuff – it was like what I really needed was to be around people.

I know people can get used to almost anything and I'm sure if I had a working-from-home routine I would be heaps more productive. However, would I like it? I'm just not as interested to find out anymore.

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