How can we support introverted employees during lockdown?

Introversion is a personality type that typically characterises an individual who prefers a more solitary and subdued experience. Read more: How can we support introverted employees during lockdown?

How can we support introverted employees during lockdown?

Introversion is a personality type that typically characterises an individual who prefers a more solitary and subdued experience.

This isn’t however, to be confused with shyness or loneliness, which can be often characterised incorrectly as. Those who identify and reflect with this personality type are likely to take joy from their own company and inner world as opposed to busy social events which may over stimulate their nervous system.

Typically, they will often prefer environments which are calmer and more reflective, which allows them to thrive. However, it is worth noting that we are, by nature, a social species to some extent. This doesn’t mean that introverts don’t enjoy or need the company of others but are likely to experience this in ways which are often 1 on 1, or more individualised.

The terms ‘introversion’ and ‘extroversion’ were popularised by the Carl Jung who defined them as more of an attitude type, extroversion being characterised as interested in the external object and the introvert interested in the subjective, internal world.

How has remote working impacted introvert personalities?

Kirsty Lilley, mental health specialist at CABA, the wellbeing charity explains that getting used to working remotely and the reduction in physical and social contact, will take time, for some more than others. It is likely that introverts will prefer this style of working, potentially blossoming as they work at their own pace without interruptions or over-stimulation but, the additional demands to take part in video meetings and calls may prove quite stressful for an introvert or they may not engage beyond dialling in.

There can be a sense of pressure to ‘perform’ and engage in large group video meetings, and it isn’t always possible to have a direct and meaningful conversation with every participant. This may prove overwhelming and for some, over stimulating, particularly those with introverted characteristics. Speaking up and sharing comments within online spaces can be stressful and tiring for many people – especially introverts, and research has suggested that we pay attention to stimuli in a slightly different way within online communication. This can result in people becoming hypervigilant to social cues as we are missing the ‘in the room’ visceral sense of another person. The brain’s job is to respond to the environment and scan for cues of relational safety, which is of course harder to do when we may not be able to see other participants faces during online interaction. Add to that the social pressure to be ‘positive’ and ‘motivated’ during lockdown and the online world may be a challenge for many to be their authentic best self.

There is some research to suggest that introverts are more reflective by nature, consider data more thoughtfully and this can be of great benefit to business and organisation. Motivation which is fuelled on inner reliance and preparation is a great asset within the workplace and the ability to take in different perspectives also a much-needed skill. Introverts can also make good listeners and tend to exude a calm and steady presence. With things moving at such speed in the present ‘always on’ culture the ability to stay focused and attentive is a great asset, especially in an age of constant distraction and over stimulation. It’s certainly essential for workplaces to have a wide variety of personality types which offer diversity of thought and opinion.

How can employers and managers support introverts in our new remote working environment?

It’s well known that the key influence on a persons’ wellbeing and performance within the workplace is the quality of the relationship with the line manager. Enabling introverts to play to their key strengths and work in a style and at a pace that suits them as much as possible are key ways of ensuring we continue to get the best from our people. Having open, honest and meaningful dialogue is essential and building meaningful and respectful relationships is cructial, especially at a time when we are socially apart in many ways.

Honest communication is vital to help a person prepare for how they may deal with any alterations and changes to working practices. Perhaps try and limit the number of online meetings for the entire team and look at how each member will be able to get involved. Ask about methods and frequency of workplace communication and checking in with people in a way that they feel comfortable with and supported. It’s important for a manager or leader to avoid assuming they know how well their employees are getting on.

Employers also need to provide clear expectations of what is to be reasonably expected of their employees during this time. Laying ground rules for online group interactions with the whole team and avoiding putting people on the spot without preparation will go a long way in ensuring the comfort of all involved. Having the courage to ask individuals what they are finding most difficult at this time, what support they might need and how you might work together to ensure that things run smoothly is vital in building up meaningful and responsive workplace relationships.

Keeping an eye on your employees

The key to noticing whether an employee needs any additional support during this time is to pay attention to any changes in the individuals’ typical behaviour patterns and workplace performance. Is the individual withdrawing more than usual? Is it more difficult to maintain contact via the usual helpful channels? Do you notice that they are uncomfortable with an increased number of online meetings? Or just not engaging?

Rather than looking for ‘signs’ it’s important that we strive to create an environment where individuals feel able to share their concerns, worries and individual working preferences. Whilst it’s important to focus on the individual, it’s also vital that we acknowledge the environment in which they are operating and offer support and understanding about those issues too.

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How can we support introverted employees during lockdown?

Source : Business Matters More   

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The complete checklist on starting a business the simple way

Originally written by Timothy Adler on Small Business So, you have made the decision to start your own business, great! Let’s work on turning your idea into a reality. There is a lot to starting your business properly, this is why we have put together this 18-item checklist you’ll need to do before you start your company all the way through to your The complete checklist on starting a business the simple way

The complete checklist on starting a business the simple way

Originally written by Timothy Adler on Small Business

So, you have made the decision to start your own business, great! Let’s work on turning your idea into a reality. There is a lot to starting your business properly, this is why we have put together this 18-item checklist you’ll need to do before you start your company all the way through to your regular routine once you have formed your limited company

Checklist for before you start your company

#1 – Research

You should research the viability of your business idea, as well as who your target market is. You will also need to research who your competitors are and how your business idea differentiates from them. Once you have done this you should test your product to make sure your product is right for your target market and there is a need for your product or service.

You can find some testing methods in our previous article Escaping the nine to five: can I turn my passion into my business?

#2 – Think of a name

Your business name can come to you instantly or it may take longer to come up with. Either way you need to carefully consider what your business name will be as it can have a huge effect on how your business is received by your customers.

Here are a few tips to take into consideration when deciding on your business name:

  • Keep your customers in mind – the name must appeal to your customers
  • Think big – don’t restrict yourself to things like location, your business could go global
  • Web friendly – how will your company name look as a web address and is it available?
  • Be precise – choose a name that reflects your products or services and is not confusing
  • Be unique – differentiate yourself from your competitors and stand out.

When you form a limited company, your business name is protected. Click below to see the business name you want is available.

#3 – Secure a domain name

Securing a domain name should be considered before starting your business. Your domain name should be easily relatable to your business as well as memorable. Domains are relatively inexpensive.

#4 – Write a business plan

Writing a business plan gets everything to do with your new business idea in order. It helps keep you organised and focused at the critical development stage of your business.

A typical business plan includes:

  • Market research
  • Customer analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Product / service information
  • Organisational structure
  • Financial information

#5 – Work out finance needed

Some business can be started by using personal finances, some require more. You need to realistically figure out how much you will need to successfully start your business, this includes everything from premises to cost of living. You also need to consider the fact you may not make a profit for some time.

#6 – Define your directors and responsibilities

You may be starting your business alone, great, you will be the director and know that you hold all responsibilities. If you are starting a business with two or more people, you need to choose your company directors and what their responsibilities are when you form a limited company.

#7 – Assess your strengths and weaknesses

If you are starting your business on your own, you will need to be a master of certain skills in order to give your business the best chance of success. By figuring out if you have the necessary skills in areas such as organisation, communication, finance, IT, sales will give you a good idea if you need training to effectively run your business.

#8 – Define your business structure

Deciding what sort of business, you want to own is very important, you could be a sole trader, partnership or a limited company. Each one has its advantages but as limited company you have limited liability, they are tax efficient, potential credibility and prestige and pension possibilities.

#9 – Form your limited company with LegalZoom

Once you have checked off all the above, it’s time to form your limited company. With our company formation packages, our online form can take 20 minutes to fill in. It’s an online process and you’re not alone whilst you’re doing it.

Our support team can be on hand to help during office hours, 9am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, either by phone or email to make your company formation as straightforward for you as possible.

Checklist for after you’ve formed your company

#10 – Open a business bank account

Now that you have a limited company, your finances must be separate. This is where business bank accounts come in. When selecting your business bank account keep an eye out for charges that may apply and what facilities the bank offer. A lot of banks offer other perks such as cashback too.

#11 – Build a brand

A brand is like your company’s identity or personality. This means you need to convey more than just your logo and themes; you need to convey your brands core values and beliefs in everything that you do and make sure your stake holders and customers understand them.

#12 – Create a website and get online

Building a website is not necessarily essential for every business, but a website has its advantages. It extends your reach to potential customers and customers tend to check out a business’s credentials, products and services by looking at a business’s website and online reviews. If your budget does not cover building a full website, you could consider building a holding page with key information and contact details.

#13 – Plan your marketing activities

You have a great product or service, but how will people know about it? With a marketing plan you should aim to increase your brand awareness and grow your business. Your marketing strategy should have clear objectives, messaging and target audience, as well as the marketing channels you will use.

#14 – Find your premises

You may need to start your business in commercial premises should you need the space for your business to grow, or you may only need to work from home. Either way you should consider the facilities, the proximity to your target market, transport links, licences required, and insurance policies needed.

If you decide to start your business from your home, you should take a look at The GOAT (greatest of all time) guide on how to start a home business. This guide will help you in setting up your business at your home.

You should also consider that your private address will be on the Companies House public register for everyone to see, should you have your registered address as your home address. To protect your private address, when you form a company with LegalZoom, you will get exclusive access to our Registered Agent service which protects your privacy.

Click below to find out more about Registered Agent.

#15 – Have the right insurance policies

Insurance for your business is critical and you need to get professional advice on what policies you need as they vary from industry to industry, such as liability insurances like professional liability and products liability which vary depending on your industry. You will also need to consider property and contents insurance, business interruption and theft.

#16 – Buy the tools to help you do the job

You will need tools and equipment that help you effectively produce products or enable you to provide a high-quality service. You will need to shop around to find the best deals and find out which tools and equipment are best suited for your needs. This can also administrative requirements e.g. telephone and IT requirements as well as fixtures and fittings.

#17 – Hire employees

You should hire someone to fulfill a role that requires a specific skillset. You will not only need to consider the financial implications of an employee’s salary; you will need to consider PAYE and National Insurance contributions along with pension contributions.

#18 – Become a creature of habit

There are certain aspects of your business that are one-off tasks. There are also other tasks that will require regular attention, some of which are:

  • Updating your business plan
  • Adapting you marketing strategy based on successes and failures
  • Refine your target market
  • Research new competitors and potential target markets
  • HMRC returns
  • Confirmation statements
  • Up to date insurance policies

Hopefully this checklist has helped get an idea of how to get your business off to the best start, even before you start your business, and the key areas to focus on and organise once you have started your company.

When you’re ready, click the link below to form your limited company with LegalZoom, we are here to help you with starting a business the simple way.

The complete checklist on starting a business the simple way

Source : UK Small Businesses More   

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