How to Set Up Your Workspace, According to Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

published Aug 8, 2021
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From sleep habits to book recommendations, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a great way to get some insight into our everyday lives, so it’s likely that you may have had to take the test, or one similar, over the course of your career.

If you’re feeling less than inspired by your workspace, whether that be from home or back in the office, it may be time to switch things up a little bit. This is where the MBTI comes in. You can channel the results of the assessment to design an office that will allow you to be your most productive without sacrificing your personality.

Flexjobs have found strengths and potential pitfalls for each type, suggesting ways to improve the office space to increase productivity and ensure a great work day every time.

Not sure what your personality type is? You can take the official MBTI assesment online.

Credit: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images

ISTJ: The Logistican

You thrive in a traditional workspace and do best when you progress slowly up the ladder, achieving goals in good time and measure. You’re a dedicated thinker who bring a certain harmony to their workplaces, since your chief goal is to create a smooth, stable operation. A highly structured office is best, one where there’s a place for everything, and the furniture is sturdy and reliable. However, these slow-and-steady workers may benefit from unexpected details, so don’t be afraid to wear that kooky sweater or take on a project you’re not so sure about.

INFJ: The Advocate

As a seeker of harmony and justice, you likely have many fans around the office, meaning tons of visitors who may not be welcome when you need to recharge. Give yourself the ability to shut the world out by installing a cubicle privacy door in your space, setting your remote communication tools off, or by asking team members to schedule meetings ahead of time. When you set up your workspace, feel free to scrap the traditional desk/chair/filing cabinet arrangement for something that better suits your unique preferences. Don’t worry—with your intuition and innate sense of balance, you’re bound to find the right setup!

INTJ: The Mastermind

You could just as easily nickname this type the “bookworm,” since INTJs have an ingrained thirst for knowledge and highly cerebral pursuits. If you fall into this personality type, you’d do well to curate a library of professional reading that tickles your intellectual curiosity. Keep these books in your office where you can access them in one of your many retreats from the rest of the team. In terms of decor, opt for flexible furniture, such as a convertible standing desk that will suit your need for freedom in your workspace. Choose colors that are soothing, with geometric patterns that work with your highly strategic mindset. And make sure that everything stays orderly—there’s nothing worse than a chaotic desk!

ISFJ: The Nurturer

You’re a natural helper, but may have a tendency to underestimate your own contribution to office culture. Therefore, you might benefit from displaying evidence of their achievements on their office walls—celebrate your wins, whether they’re big or small. Take time selecting your furniture when you set up your workspace, since you tend to perform best when everything feels welcoming and nothing is overlooked. And remember to book some time for learning when you start a new project. Nurturers like to approach new tasks with a hands-on attitude, so you’ll need some room in your schedule to really dig into the details.

ISTP: The Virtuoso

Decorating for you means finding the perfect balance between order and quirkiness. With your out-of-the-box approach to life, you thrive in spaces that both allow you to express your unique blend of boldness and freedom and provide an enclosed retreat for private tinkering. Look for unusual, stimulating colors, like peaches and mint greens, but keep the furniture sleek with a slim profile that doesn’t intrude on your thinking.

ISFP: The Artist

You’ve probably already put a lot of thought into your office’s setup. As sensual and visual person, you thrive on aesthetics—but that can also make you a little overly-sensitive to what’s going on around them. ISFPs should therefore strive to separate themselves from busy atmospheres, choosing instead spots near a window, where they can be drawn in by the natural ambience. No windows in your office? Choose some soothing furniture, like a desk in blonde wood, and top it with plants or a small tranquil waterfall. Anything beautiful and peaceful is your milieu.

INFP: The Idealist

You seek harmony and fairness in the workplace, needing a soothing, calming space to retreat, where you can recharge and reflect on your next move. If you can, choose an office space that’s set away from the hustle and bustle of the main room. You may have trouble becoming inspired by traditional office decor with its focus on function so instead, you should try to integrate your personal passions into your office, choosing pieces that are fair trade, for instance, or that weave in natural elements.

INTP: The Architect

One of the rarest personality types, INTPs adore playing with ideas and exploring—so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s renowned scientists were thought to fall into this category (Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton are just two in the list). These are the folks who are so creative and logical they can come up with the theory of relativity, but will often abandon their coffee mid-sip in the throes of a new theory. A well-ordered space, with highly efficient shelving and organization systems, will suit you well. But make sure to include a miscellaneous file—and a nook for doing more unordered thinking—for when the creative bug sets in.

ESTP: The Entrepreneur

You need an energetic workspace that captures the boldness and risk-taking that inspires you. Charged colors, like electric blue or bright orange, with unexpected accents—a curved desk, for instance, or an unusual piece of artwork—will keep you running on all four cylinders. Just don’t go for anything too fussy. With your preference for rapid change, you’ll likely be reorganizing often.

ESFP: The Performer

Expressive and vocal about your opinions, you probably take no issue redecorating your office as you see fit. But as a caring, compassionate person, you love to reach out to friends around your workplace too, so don’t be afraid to ask them for their advice! Seriousness is for the other personality types to worry about, so go ahead, grab that fabulous bulletin board and that dramatic desk chair. Just make sure you don’t get too caught up in decorating—after all, you still have actual work to do.

ENFP: The Campaigner

Blessed with natural charisma and an energetic spark, you’re passionate about your ideas and bring the fun at the office happy hour. In your workspace, you need decor that will refill your nearly never-ending cup of joy. But you could probably also do with some simplifying as well, since you hate routine tasks and view organization as a form of drudgery. Keep your filing system as simple as possible to avoid the blahs and allow you to focus on what you care about: new ideas.

ENTP: The Visionary

As a “big picture” thinker, you tend to overlook the finer details, such as organization. For these idea-oriented types, challenges are motivating, so if you can view the cleaning as a problem that needs to be solved, you’ll likely have much better results. Use unconventional solutions—an unusual, eye-catching shelf, or a standing desk with rolling walls—or just give yourself the freedom to work in a new coffee shop or restaurant, if that’s an option. Just keep it flexible, and remember: everything is reversible!

ESTJ: The Executive

You thrive on order and tend to follow the rules, and are also hard-working and moral, meaning you don’t like to be weighed down by trivial details. Therefore, you’ll do best with clean, unfettered decor that doesn’t really push the envelope. Think “oval office” and get inspired by the mixture of traditional luxury and executive prowess. And make sure to add an extra seat for visitors. With your reputation for leadership and community organization, you’re sure to have a more than a few office drop-ins.

ESFJ: The Caregiver

 You know that one chatty coworker who’s always game for a quick conversation? If you’re an ESFJ, it’s probably you! You love working with people and view meetings as more than just work—they’re a chance to entertain, too. Give yourself enough room to invite people in when the mood strikes, while still maintaining the order and organization in your space. Go for practical, utilitarian pieces, like a rolling white board, that can help you lead a group meeting and keep your thoughts together.

ENFJ: The Giver

You’re a people person, so you probably prefer spaces that are hospitable, inviting, and comfortable. You thrive in spaces that are energetic and novel (think “startup with bean bag chairs and wall murals.”) Choose pieces that are punchy and will start a conversation, but still maintain a sense of order in your space. Whatever you do, make sure there’s plenty of room for collaboration. In fact, you may even want to share your office, if that’s a possibility. ENFJs are one of those rare types who actually enjoy open plan offices, since they allow them to easily do their work in teams. If you work from home, try out coworking spaces and coffee shops.

ENTJ: The Commander

With your commanding presence and dominating personality, you need decor that’s just as domineering—and maybe even just the slightest bit intimidating. Pick out the biggest desk you can get and a plush leather chair to capture that ambience of control. But don’t forget to allow your sensitive side out once and awhile, too. A few gentle touches, like a photo of your dog displayed on one of your shelves, will go a long way to humanize you to your fellow teammates.