Susan Cain Quiet Spaces  by Steelcase


Introverts represent ⅓ to ½ of all workers, yet companies often fail to provide work environments that bring out their best. 


How can space help introverts do their best thinking?

Watch the Susan Cain Quiet Spaces video


Empowering Introverts

In her bestselling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain suggests workers are often left dealing with the stimulation of their workplace with little opportunity to tailor their environment based on their mood or need for privacy and focus.

Susan Cain Quiet Spaces by Steelcase offer five diverse ways to empower introverts at work. Each space supports specific postures, work modes, and expectations for quiet and privacy supported by a carefully chosen range of architecture, furniture, materials and technology. Every quiet space is designed with V.I.A. which provides superior acoustic performance and offers an atmosphere where introverts can work their best.


Design Principles

Permission to be alone — Private, quiet spaces free from interruption support focus and innovation, providing a respite from an otherwise highly stimulating workplace.  Making these spaces available to introverts signals that the organization understands and respects their need to work differently.

Control over the environment — Introverts are more sensitive to stimulation and have a greater need for control over their environment. They also have a lower tolerance for external forces such as noise and light, so it’s important for them to be able to control these elements in the workspace.

Sensory balance — Contrary to what one might expect, introverts seek sensory stimulation, but often in the form of warm, calming influences, such as natural woods and other organic materials.

Psychologically safe — Introverts often feel like they’re perpetually on stage, as if all eyes are on them. At times they need spaces where they can choose to be unseen, and where they can’t see others, for either rejuvenation or focus.  


RESEARCH:
90% of today’s workers say they need quiet, private places in the workplace. Over 40% say they don’t have them.

SUSAN CAIN:
“Restorative niche' is Professor Little's term for the place you go when you want to return to your true self. It can be a physical place, like the path beside the Richelieu River, or a temporal one, like the quiet breaks you plan between sales calls.”

BE ME:

  • A warm and receptive destination that offers introverts permission to be alone and be themselves.
  • A space free from the gaze and interruption of others, encouraging vitality by lounging, working or even closing your eyes for a few moments.
  • Lagunitas provides comfortable and familiar seating, and includes power to support mobile devices.
  • Personal table supports working on mobile devices while lounging.
  • Storage acts as guest seating for an invited guest, or a place for personal belongings.
  • V.I.A. superior acoustic attributes keeps noise distractions at bay.
  • V.I.A. with integrated monitor allows amplification of digital content.
  • Lighting integrated in V.I.A. allows users to control the level of lighting in the space.
  • RoomWizard II allows the space to be reserved ahead of time or on the spot.

Shown with clear glass for demonstration purposes only. In reality, variable opacity films on glass are used to create these spaces.

Click here to see more visuals of the Susan Cain Quiet Spaces by Steelcase.


RESEARCH:
While doing project work, on average workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. When interrupted, it can take anywhere between 23-25 minutes to get back into flow.

SUSAN CAIN:
“Introverts are more alive to the subtleties in their environment. It also means they are more easier overwhelmed, reacting to what’s going on around them.”

FLOW:

  • A place free from visual and audible distraction or interruption for deep focus, strategic thinking and getting into flow.
  • Natural materials create a calming state of mind, providing a place for focus, free from physical and cognitive distraction.
  • V.I.A. superior acoustic attributes keeps noise distractions at bay.
  • V.I.A. provides a space to display analog content.
  • Elective Elements desk is large enough to spread out content.
  • Elective Elements bookshelves are equipped with analog resource material to support strategic thinking while also providing a space for personal belongings.
  • V.I.A. with integrated monitor allows amplification of digital content.
    • Lighting integrated in V.I.A. allows users to control the level of lighting in the space.
  • RoomWizard II allows the space to be reserved ahead of time or on the spot.
  • Guest seating on storage allow users to invite guests if appropriate.

Shown with clear glass for demonstration purposes only. In reality, variable opacity films on glass are used to create these spaces.


RESEARCH:
Moving while working  makes for healthier, more-engaged workers. A palette of postures and stretching of muscles supports creative thinking, problem solving and idea generation.

SUSAN CAIN:
“Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.”

STUDIO:

  • An active environment where individuals can escape and rejuvenate through activity and stretching while also recharging by contemplating and reflection.
  • Control of the space is in the hands of the user, allowing them to customize lighting, music, volume and digital content based on their mood, task or personality.
  • The open floor space allows users the opportunity to stretch, meditate and reset.
  • V.I.A. offers integrated speakers that allow users to control the mood of the space.
  • V.I.A. superior acoustic attributes keeps noise distractions at bay.
  • Hosu seating supports relaxed and informal postures.
  • The integrated monitor in V.I.A. can be used to view the digital content needed to rejuvenate.
  • Lighting integrated in V.I.A. allows users to control the level of lighting in the space.
  • RoomWizard II allows the space to be reserved ahead of time or on the spot.
  • Storage creates a space for analog and digital resource material.

 

Shown with clear glass for demonstration purposes only. In reality, variable opacity films on glass are used to create these spaces.


RESEARCH:
31% of full time employees do most of their work away from their employers’ location. Workers are looking to eliminate distraction, but also seek physical and emotional comfort and familiarity that is often found more at home than in the office.

SUSAN CAIN:
“They (introverts) have difficulty when being observed (at work, say, or performing at a music recital) or judged for general worthiness (dating, job interviews). The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves, and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up.”

GREEN ROOM:

  • An informal destination to connect, share and build trust before, during or after a meeting.
  • The lounge posture creates a relaxed, comfortable environment, while tools throughout the space support working and sharing of digital content.
  • Lagunitas provides a comfortable and informal seating option, much like a couch in a living room.
  • The divided sofa at 90 degrees offers specific places for people to sit perpendicular to one another, creating an individual sense of space and psychological safety.
  • V.I.A. superior acoustic attributes keeps noise distractions at bay.
  • V.I.A. with integrated monitor allows amplification of digital content.
  • Lighting integrated in V.I.A. allows users to control the level of lighting in the space.
  • RoomWizard II allows the space to be reserved ahead of time or on the spot. 
     

Shown with clear glass for demonstration purposes only. In reality, variable opacity films on glass are used to create these spaces.


RESEARCH:
When collaborating, workers meet nearly half the time with only one other person.

SUSAN CAIN:
“They (introverts) have difficulty when being observed (at work, say, or performing at a music recital) or judged for general worthiness (dating, job interviews).”

MIND SHARE:

  • A space where introverts can engage in deep conversation with a colleague, display and discuss content quickly and easily in confidence.
  • A safe space to build trust, where information and ideas can quickly and easily be shared.
  • Both content and conversations can remain confidential.
  • Integrated media:scape allows workers to actively edit and build digital content while the whiteboard supports analog brainstorming.
  • V.I.A. superior acoustic attributes keeps noise distractions at bay.
  • The integrated monitor in V.I.A. can be used to view the digital content.
  • RoomWizard II allows the space to be reserved ahead of time or on the spot.
  • Storage creates guest seating for a third guest, as well as a place for personal belongings.

Shown with clear glass for demonstration purposes only. In reality, variable opacity films on glass are used to create these spaces.


QUIET REVOLUTION

The Quiet Revolution, Susan Cain’s new mission based company, was established in 2014 as a way to convert the unique awareness generated by her best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking into action. With its mission to “Empower Introverts For The Benefit of Us All,” the Quiet Revolution launched its first initiatives in 2014 in the world of work. Quiet Revolution’s worker training organization, the Quiet Leadership Institute, is delivering outcomes-based training solutions to leading organizations that unlocks the value of introverted workers by making them aware of their unique strengths and empowering them to act.

Through 2014 and 2015, the Quiet Revolution will continue to add offerings that further its mission, including for parents and teachers of introverted children, lifestyle offerings dedicated to helping people live a quietly beautiful life—in travel, home design, acoustics and wellness, for example—and more.

Learn more at quietrev.com