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In this episode Joel and Antonia discuss personality ergonomics in the workplace and how to design a peak performance environment.

In this podcast on ergonomics in the workplace you’ll find:

  • Businesses, organizations and schools are now optimizing the ergonomics in their workplace.
  • You can see the changes by looking at their chairs, table and important work equipment like mice and keyboards.
  • It has become evident that people get more productive if they are able to work comfortably.
  • There’s much focus on physical ergonomics but not about personality ergonomics.
  • Your flow state rejuvenates you. It helps activate your driver process so even if you feel a bit tired, you feel refreshed and fulfilled.
  • Imagine if you could harness a person’s flow state energy into a job or career and they leave work feeling refreshed and not tired.
  • When you work out of your flow state, and this is when you go into your inferior process (3-year old), you feel very tired and drained at the end of the day.
  • We end up customizing and optimizing things when we are exposed to different options to choose from.
  • The concept of ergonomics is making people feel happier.
  • It’s all about understanding the people who work for your company and how you can bring out their flow state. This will help them feel rewarded and fulfilled while doing their jobs. They’re always gaining energy at work because they’re at their best.
  • Even though we don’t have to change the job roles and description or hire someone for a certain type, we can at least assume that once the person is in that position, their environment is conducive for their flow state.
  • Accuracy people are more focused about data, so anything that’s very emotional like workplace dramas and politics will throw them out of their flow state.
  • We’d like you to start thinking about personality ergonomics in the workplace, school and home.
  • How do you feel that your business, career or the school you attend? Is your home setup to the personality involved in that place and how can it be done even better based on those personalities?

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  • Su

    Interesting thought. There’s a lot of physical and environment aspects in our world that is NOT built according to consideration that people are different. Open concepts in workplace are currently the in-thing. Corporate office are switching from private cubicles to open space which is supposed to encourage more collaboration and peer discussion. (good for corporations because of cheaper cost!)

    I don’t exactly know what kinda environment suits me (Authenticity/Exploration) but I do appreciate differentiation of spaces. I don’t want to be stuck at the same environment for long. If I need concentration to churn out ideas, I prefer no distraction. Sometimes I just need to talk or discuss. Sometime I just want to face the sunlight.

    It will be the best if one can move around in workspaces.

  • Caroline

    Amazing podcast as always 🙂 I just realized that I spend the first two years of my career in INFJ-hell: I had to share a room with four other people, I was sitting with my back to the door, the door was always open and in addition to the cold air draft there was a constant but unpredictable flow of people coming and going because they either wanted to talk to one of us or because they were using the printer which was also standing behind my back. In retrospect it’s no wonder I got semi-suicidal at times. Because I was so desperate for a break I often skipped lunch and wandered alone outside for 30 minutes. In school it wasn’t much different. During breaks no matter how short I hid in the library or tried to get myself locked into the empty classroom. Until today I had the conviction that I am “weird” aka not created for school and working environments – you alerted me to the fact it might be the other way round 🙂 Thank you for that – I am definitely sharing your content with my friends and family!

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thank you Caroline for the comment AND for sharing with your friends and family who you think will love the podcast.

  • Amber N.

    When it comes to the school system my hubby and I have spoken about this quite a bit. Growing up we both had a rough time in the public school system. Wouldn’t it be neat if kids could take a fun assessment test before each school year to determine their personality type? Based on the results a person or computer system could plug them into the right class with the right teachers and set up etc. This would allow kids to be in classroom that empowered them. Also, it would educate teachers and help them respect and honor each child’s unique styles instead of negatively categorizing them. Anyway, I love all the ideas shared on here. Love the concept!

  • Carla

    Thank you for an interesting podcast!

    I definitely believe the principles you talked about in this podcast make a difference in our homes (which you touched on near the end when you mentioned thinking about where to put dishes in the kitchen) as well as our workplaces.

    My husband and I have lived in 5 different homes in our 10-year marriage and it is so interesting to think about how we’ve, with our different temperaments, acclimated and accommodated to each of those environs.

    I am an INFJ and I put a great deal of thought in to a space I am organizing before I even touch it. I think about what the purpose of that space is and how my husband or I will use it. For repeating tasks/routines I will take time to write down the best, most efficient way to do something and organize the space/tools accordingly. This takes up more time up-front, but once I’ve figured it all out things become rote and my energy is freed to do other more interesting things.

    For example, I have a large lazy-susan in our bathroom cabinet. On it I’ve placed the products I need to get ready in the morning and to get ready for bed, all in the order I use them. For some reason I LOVE that lazy-susan; I love the circular nature of it and how it spins; I love not having to think “Did I already put on deodorant?”.

    Our current home’s kitchen does not open up to the living room space and I HATE that. I really miss the ability to “look out” and see everyone and everything in our “public space” at once. I wonder if that is related to you sharing how INJs feel better with their desks pointing towards a door in order to anticipate interruptions. I think it might also be related to the Harmony aspect of my temperament… wanting to make sure everyone is okay and wanting to feel connected.

    Years ago I was criticized on one of my first job performance evaluations as a public health nurse for taking too much time to organize my workspace. I had spent time organizing my desk and supplies I would use during home visits and clinics. The criticism devastated me and left me feeling shamed. I was left believing I was not as productive as I should have been and took that to an extreme of doubting my value as a nurse. Of course, everyone else got to benefit from the organizational systems I had put in place. 🙂

    Fast forward to my last job where I was able to assertively ask for (and got) hours where I would be the only person in the building during half my shifts. My job entailed a lot of client contact over the phone and lots of interruptions via email and phone. I knew in order to be successful I needed all other distractions removed… and it worked. The other half my shifts I was engaging (in real life) with people who were attending week-long seminars and I got my “people contact” bucket filled.

    In looking at the various jobs I’ve had over the years, here’s the magic combination that works for me as an INFJ… lots of total solitude and control over my private physical environment which I use to get the nitty-gritty done… balanced with a hefty dose of touchy-feely contact with people which reminds me why I’m there to begin with.

    Thanks again for this podcast (as well as all the podcasts you do)!

  • Keith

    I started listening to this podcast while going on a walk, and I almost had to cut my walk short because I so badly wanted to take notes. I’m finishing up my masters degree in Elementary teaching; one of my big goals is to differentiate my classroom experience to each student. This has given me a lot of information to consider. The description of Authenticity’s work environment fits me very well (I’m an INFP) as does Exploration’s, and I can’t wait to share this with my wife (ENFJ).

    Just wondering, was Effectiveness (Te) covered in the podcast? Did I miss it?

    Thanks again.

  • Kora

    Wow! I’m working in marketing as an ENFJ. I’m in an office alone to make calls in a big office. Occassionally I’m pulled out to speak to new clients and hang out with the other sales people. My boss recently got onto me for spending too much time out on the floor “just chatting” with the Sales Floor team. I’d try to work for an hour or an hour and a half alone and then come chat with people for 10-15 minutes before heading back into my office. It recharged me!

    I tried to explain this to my boss, but she isn’t as interested or knowledgable about congnitive functions. I tried to touch on it and I could tell she had lost interest so I just said I’d try to do better. My numbers are great so she couldn’t say it was causing a negative issue with my work. As long as I keep my numbers up she probably doesn’t care, however, I’d love for her to know it helps recharge me. Any great tips for how to explain ergonomic needs to a boss who only cares about the numbers?

    • Ruby

      Hey Kora, to answer your question: Any great tips for how to explain ergonomic needs to a boss who only cares about the numbers?

      How about this: It helps me keep my numbers up to take a fifteen minute break with the team every ninety minutes or so. I find if I’m holed up in the office much longer than that, my productivity lags. It’s just the way I’m wired.

      • Ruby

        I’m thinking about the reply I posted to your question. I’m guessing your boss might be an ISTJ. If so, she may see my suggestion as a bid for free breaks. Sometimes we have to accept that not everybody will understand or “get” us. You like the job and are doing well on it. You may want to consider whether it is best to leave good enough alone. Just an idea.

  • Ruby

    I’m an INTJ who writes and researches at home. After listening to this podcast, I finally understand why I’m so sensitive to the sound of music and TV coming through thin apartment walls. I used to think my neighbour has the volume turned too high so one day I invited a friend in to listen and was told most people would not mind it at all, that the volume is turned to a very reasonable level. As per the podcast, I now understand that with introverted N as my driver, I need sensory deprivation in order to concentrate on my work.

    It’s so good to know that this sensitivity is type-related, not just me being fussy. Like in the podcast example of office workers turning around their desks so they can stop worrying about being disturbed, I have now turned on a fan for a steady white noise to drown out the disrupting murmur of my neighbour’s TV. Wearing earplugs is tricky because I feel disconnected from the environment, like I don’t know what is happening around me because I can’t pick up the small warning sounds—again, like the office workers with their backs to the door. The fan also drowns out desired sounds like birdsong outside the open window but the peace is worth the compromise. The fan does not mask the important sounds inside my apartment.

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