Introverts reveal hybrid work makes them feel overwhelmed

Working in a hybrid environment? Chances are, you prefer to kick off the workweek from the office. That’s according to a recent survey of 2,002 employees, which found 46% of hybrid workers prefer to start their week from their company’s HQ, compared to just 20% who favor the comfort of their couch. Regardless of where people work, results also discovered Monday was reported to be the most productive day of the week (28%), especially among self-reported introverts (39%). Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Canon U.S.A., Inc. in connection with the launch of AMLOS (Activate My Line Of Sight), an office solution for hybrid work, the survey uncovered the challenges employees can face in communicating with co-workers, and how these differ based on personality type. Has hybrid work helped improve employees’ communication skills? Nearly two-thirds (65%) of those who split their time between their home and office seemed to think so, including more introverts than extroverts (82% vs. 62%). But while 88% of introverts said the hybrid work environment makes them feel like they can come out of their shell, they were also more likely than extroverts to sometimes find this work model overwhelming (80% vs. 64%). Regardless of where they work, many introverts chose lack of feedback or communication as their biggest daily hurdle (32%), while many extroverts’ biggest barrier was too many channels of communication (21%). Overall, nine in 10 employees found it challenging to speak up at work, with nearly two-thirds sharing this sentiment while working remotely. Among the reasons? Everyone speaks at the same time (47%), a preference for visual or text-based communication (43%) and not seeing their co-workers simultaneously (40%). Video seems to have played an integral role in streamlining co-worker interactions, as well as improving productivity. Eight in 10 people who turn on their video while working (1,722 respondents) said meetings feel more productive when everyone else does, as well. Many respondents also said they’re better able to interact with co-workers when they can share documents, images and videos during a meeting in real time (66%) and see everyone who’s in a meeting (58%). “As tech continues to evolve, employers need to keep workers engaged,” said Kohei Maeda, marketing supervisor, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Video is one part of the equation, but often requires complementary tools to help with effective communication in real-time.” Seven in 10 (70%) respondents agreed new tech tools, such as apps and software, can improve communication at work. “Companies should equip employees with tech that can improve interaction and allows everyone to engage equally in meetings. When everyone is on the same page, regardless of location, they can not only feel like they’re physically present with the team but are also more empowered to contribute,” Maeda added. TECH THAT WOULD IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AT WORK Virtual Reality (e.g., putting on goggles and interacting with a simulated environment) - 48% Collaboration software (e.g., Slack, Notion, Trello, etc.) - 43% An AI-powered multilingual translation tool - 38% Better quality webcams - 37% More modern, personalized intranets - 36% An employee onboarding center - 36% A mobile intranet app - 34% Survey Methodology: This random double-opt-in survey of 2,002 employed Americans, including 1,018 hybrid workers, was commissioned by Canon U.S.A., Inc. between September 21 and October 13, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).