Dr Jenny Brockis Why Introverts Are Collaboratively Important A Place AT The Table: “I’m an introvert...I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” - Audrey Hepburn Where do you do your best work? Do you prefer to work alone? Or do you work better in the company of others? I recently found myself in a collaborative working space. We were together alone, working on independent projects that required thinking, modelling and design. The mood in the room was upbeat; the vibe was one of heavy thinking. You could almost hear the crackle of the collective neurons firing off. As I sat, I noticed my brain shutting down. The more I tried to think, the more my mind was being drowned out by the brainpower surging around me. Frustrated with my blank mental sketchpad, I sought refuge elsewhere. All I wanted was a quiet space with a door to close, a table and chair and room to think. Unfortunately the only alternative appeared to be the ladies loo, which wasn’t quite what I had in mind! We live at a time where collective workspaces have become the norm; where school classrooms have tables grouped together, where University students study collaboratively on projects, and where workplaces have become open, activity based spaces. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I love losing myself in my thoughts in a crowded café or spending times talking through ideas with colleagues. But not all the time.