Introverts of the workplace are having a moment. The office furniture company Steelcase teamed up with Susan Cain, author of the bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, to create a series of five spaces that address the need for more focus and privacy at work.
The collection, called Susan Cain Quiet Spaces, comes right in the middle of a long-established era in which open, non-hierarchical workplaces are the norm at any startup. But everyone knows how frustrating it is to take a phone call that requires privacy or to get serious creative work done amidst the distractions that naturally pop up in an open-plan office. “In the past we would talk about the benefits of collaboration, visibility, and the ability to show people work in progress,” explains Steelcase’s application design manager Vanessa Bradley. “There is a message here about balance.”