Constantly ringing phones, babble of voices and sensory overload: working in an open-plan office often resembles a battlefield. Learn how highly sensitive People typical challenges of everyday work successfully can master.

Kathrin Sohst_Power killer open-plan office

Cavemen of modernity

In the past, people lived in caves. And today? We also live in caves. Except that they are now called houses. And we live there because we need our private feel-good spaces. People used to come out of the caves and houses to get food. Or they went out to war. And today we go out to indulge in consumption, ours Status to polish and work. And the latter may feel like war to some. Today, for many people, the battlefield is called the “open plan office”. Everyone is under surveillance. The toilet is often the only place to retreat to. Everyone has to perform – always.

If you can't do that, although you might want to, you're unfortunately way too far fast out of the game. Because there is no time to verlieren. Finally, it is Costs to lower the Turnover zu increase and more and more growth to produce. It has long been obvious that the constant presence, the noise level and the climate in most open-plan offices or overcrowded small offices, especially for introverts, but also for extroverts, are an ever increasing - especially health - burden. The annual reports from the health insurance companies speak volumes. If you also have a highly sensitive temperament, then for many people the office world is hardly bearable - even if the willingness to perform is right, the pay is right and the job itself Fun power.

High sensitivity: a short portrait

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Highly sensitive people are perceptive. A trait that, in addition to many positive characteristics such as solution orientation, empathy, quality awareness, differentiated perception, conscientiousness, creativity and high intuition in our economic system can bring with it a number of challenges: when others are still running at full speed, highly sensitive people already need a break or react with them Stress, weil Brain and nervous system absorb and process much more stimuli and information than people with average sensitivity.

And while colleagues are currently choosing the overtime king of the week, the highly sensitive wish Employees a relaxed togetherness, individual offices, less and above all no trivial cockfightingMeetings and Scandinavian working time conditions - without a lopsided view of the Executiveif the computer is switched off in good time and the afternoon or evening is reserved for the children, a walk in the forest, a good book or just shopping before 20 p.m.

Highly sensitive features

High sensitivity research is still like this jungthat the scientific findings have not yet reached many HR managers, doctors, psychologists and educators. The Term high sensitivity originally comes from English and was translated in the 1990s by Dr. Elaine N. Aron coined: Highly Sensitive Person - HSP for short. High sensitivity is not a disease but a temperament that affects 15-20 percent of people. It joins Women and men alike and is - as is assumed today - hereditary. Aron describes four characteristics that are typical for highly sensitive personalities:

Typical challenges for highly sensitive employees

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Highly sensitive people crammed into a room with others will rarely be able to consistently bring their horsepower to the racetrack. Because running the gauntlet starts in the morning when the moods of all your colleagues hit you. The first person is newly in love, the person sitting next to you is heartbroken and the next one has a bereavement Family. This can create havoc before work even begins. In addition, there is the smell of food on the colleague's table, the penetrating perfume of the styling queen in the room Team, noisy telephones, daily at least 3 mini-meetings at the table next to you, because the meeting rooms are all occupied. Not to forget the permanent dilemma - fresh air or drafts. Concentrated work? Nothing!

Almost everyone knows that multi-tasking is a productivity killer. And yet the challenge in the room, not only on eMails have to respond but also to use and manage new communication channels. Not to mention the high work density and lack of separation between working hours and private time. What puts even the toughest employees to a hard test is an attack on health for highly sensitive top performers and economically a negligent waste of valuable lateral thinker, finetuner and solution finder potentials.

Delicate strong power carriers

Highly sensitive people are enthusiastic, responsible and deliver their work in high quality. Provided they work in an appreciative environment where they have the opportunity to reduce stimuli and breathe through them - a look out of the window, five minutes of fresh air or a few breathing exercises in a quiet corner - and not only after four hours.

It is high time to incorporate this knowledge into the design of workplaces and working conditions. Education on the subject of high sensitivity is urgently needed. Anyone who is familiar with high sensitivity can react much more relaxed when the sensitive colleague suddenly has an "overstimulation alarm". And highly sensitive people, who know that because of their constitution, they are aware of others needs have than most others, can act self-care and focus on their Power focus.

Openness for otherness

It takes flexibility in those who give work and tender-strong self-confidence in those who want to do that work. We are currently experiencing a time in which the conditions are getting better: individual offices, home office, freelance work, part-time solutions, quiet rooms and places of retreat or flexible break solutions and the realization that productivity does not always have to depend on the working hours and presence of employees.

For the highly sensitive, these are all very good ways to transform the daily struggle into the joy of working life. And Company have the chance to discover the full potential of highly sensitive consumers.


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