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Introverts should stay at home


Darko Vuković

I am gonna start this subject by saying that I am an introvert. As an introvert, I thrive on quiet and solitude to channel my creativity and focus on my work. A few years ago I started working remotely, to be more precise - from home, and it’s been a transformative experience.

Being a graphic designer in a marketing agency is challenging enough, without all the distractions of an open office layout. The constant buzz of conversation and activity can feel like a never-ending assault on my concentration. It’s like having a front-row seat to everyone’s work drama, whether I asked for it or not.


Despite well-intentioned suggestions to “put on your headphones,” drowning out the noise isn’t always effective. In moments of deep design focus, silence is essential to hear my thoughts and have uninterrupted creativity. Or, as we like to say: To be in the zone.


I recently read a book called “Quiet The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. She argues that open offices, intended to foster collaboration, can overwhelm introverts with sensory input, leading to distractions and reduced productivity.


“Introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.” —Susan Cain


Cain emphasizes the importance of solitude and quiet reflection for introverts to excel, challenging the notion that open offices suit everyone. I was literally going crazy in an open office environment and I felt like I am the only one with the problem. Her insights brought me comfort, as I realized I wasn’t alone in my struggles. Highly recommended to read.


The debate between working remotely and in the office isn’t about finding a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about recognizing what works best for each individual. For me, working remotely, especially from home, offers numerous benefits:


No more hectic commutes, no more dodging traffic like it’s an obstacle course. Even a short five-minute drive to the office feels burdensome. 


Working from home means I don’t have to worry about clothing or fixing my hair. I can just be my primal self… until a Skype meeting pops up, and suddenly there are no filters to hide my three-week-old beard or my cat’s tail photobombs the call. 


And let’s not forget about productivity. In my own space, surrounded by the things that inspire me (or what some might call a creative mess), I find myself getting so much more done. No more office distractions to derail my focus. It’s just me, my blank canvas, and the anxiety to produce something great within a given deadline – oh, the joys of creativity!


My morning routine is simple: Get up, brew some premium pour-over coffee, and dive straight into my zone. It’s like stepping into my own creative sanctuary, where the only background noise is the gentle hum of my computer, the occasional chirp of a bird outside my window, and, of course, the neighbor’s dogs that won’t stop barking. Still haven’t figured out how to deal with that. 


So, if you’re like me, craving some peace and quiet amidst the chaos, it’s not about being antisocial. It’s about recognizing the need for a sanctuary of stillness in the midst of the storm. Because let’s face it, in the world of graphic design, focus is everything. And sometimes, that means tuning out the noise and creating your own little bubble of tranquility where inspiration can thrive.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that working remotely isn’t without its challenges. It requires self-discipline, effective time management, and the ability to stay connected with colleagues and maintain a sense of belonging within the team. Additionally, for some, the lack of separation between work and home life can lead to feelings of isolation and burnout.


Personally, my struggle lies in taking regular breaks. I don’t get up for hours at a time. I find myself hunching over my keyboard so much that I begin to resemble a shrimp, only realizing my poor posture hours later. And while I generally prefer solitude, I still value meaningful social connections. Working from home can reduce opportunities for casual interactions with colleagues, leading to feelings of isolation.


Whether you’re a fan of the freedom of remote work or thrive in the collaborative atmosphere of the office, embrace what works best for you. After all, you are the expert on your own workstyle, and nobody knows it better than you do. And I know that working from home is what’s best for me, but also what’s best for the agency as well. 


To my extroverted colleagues, please don’t take it personally if I retreat into my own little bubble of silence from time to time. It’s not that I don’t enjoy your company – I just need a bit of peace and quiet to do my best work. 


So here’s to all the graphic designers out there, navigating the waters of the open office with focus and determination. May your headphones be your shield, and may your creative spirit soar above the noise, undeterred and unstoppable. I am staying home, where I can get shit done.