Isolated introverts crave connection too, Adam Grant writes in The New York Times

April 24, 2020

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty affiliate Adam Grant discusses working remotely in The New York Times column, “Yes, Even Introverts Can Be Lonely Right Now.”

The column examines what it feels like to be an introvert who works from home and offers advice for how to stay connected without burning out. Grant references CPO core faculty member Jane Dutton’s research on high-quality connections that reveals even brief interactions can produce positive results—crucial information for introverts who feel drained after too much social connection.

“As Dr. Dutton put it recently on WorkLife, ‘Forty seconds of interaction—a positive, caring interaction—has measurable impacts on both people,’ ” Grant writes.

The column suggests introverted employees also can manage their energy while working from home by declining video calls, dialing in by audio instead when possible, or shifting to email.

“It doesn’t take a herculean effort to go from feeling lonely to feeling connected,” Grant says. “Even if we’re far apart physically, we can come closer together emotionally.”

Grant is The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.