As a life science recruiter, I had an occasion last week to tell a candidate, “You sound as if the wind has been taken out of your sails” and she confirmed that she was an extrovert. She confirmed and indicated that, unlike most businesses I have been in contact with in the past few months, her company has not changed to virtual conferences and has only done phone meetings company-wide for business continuity.  She is now looking over the fence to make a change.

How crazy is that? The direct impact of an organization not considering the impact of social distancing on human resources that are not introverts.

Extroverts are social beings that get their energy from people and their need to be around other people is powerful and impactful to their performance.

This is their continuing temporary reality and they must learn to cope, yes, but during these days a direct boss can support these needs. Here are five ideas to help extroverts survive social distancing- and think differently about how their company is addressing human resource needs.

Leverage technology

Almost all people have engaged in Zoom meetings for work, but they can also be leveraged for personal social interactions. Recreate a coffee break or happy hour with colleagues online. Advise your extroverts to initiate virtual family or alumni reunions and catch up on what everyone has been up to. Watch movies via Netflix parties and Broadway performances on social media. Seeing everyone’s faces, hearing their voices and learning of their updates will give the energetic boost needed to an extrovert.

Keep the background noise on

Extroverts are known to be productive in noisy places such as Starbucks and airport waiting areas. The background chatter is like white noise for them. Suggest that they recreate that hum and engage with anything that sounds or feels like human interaction, including podcasts and TV shows, and have it play in the background.

Re-imagine text messaging

Build a text platform of multiple individuals to continue to text message colleagues with common purpose. Surely someone in the group will respond. (Boaz Partners uses RingCentral- Glip) Allow some fun gifs!

Common purpose

Every night at 7 p.m. New Yorkers stand by their open windows or balconies, clapping and making noise in honor of the healthcare workers who are working on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suggest a virtual book club or virtual games with colleagues. Perhaps a virtual “mission” to create a virtual common purpose group.

Walk separately but together

They probably miss hanging out with their closest colleague. Suggest they schedule a time to go for a walk while talking or Face-timing on the phone. Hopefully, they can take a walk in their own neighborhood and can have a shared experience.

Introverts have lived in an extrovert’s world and they’ve survived and thrived. As extroverts, who draw their energy from others, it’s time to get creative and find new ways to engage in an introvert’s world.

-Written by Life Science Recruiter and Practice Lead Michele Baxley