By Mahlena-Rae Johnson linkedin.com/in/mahlena

speaker. writer. social media storyteller: bit.ly/mahlenaspeaks

Running a business often involves interacting with other people in order to generate a profit. The “other people” part can be a challenge for introverts, especially when working in an office with a variety of individuals. Even when introverts have voluntarily signed up for a shared workspace where you encounter friendly human beings, you may need a few items to feel comfortable in a setting that is not your home. Here are the three best gadgets for introverts to bring to coworking spaces.

1. Noise cancelling headphones.

They’re not just for airplanes anymore. These devices serve two purposes. One, they reduce outside noise produced by your surroundings, allowing you to concentrate on your responsibilities. Two, they prevent the music or podcasts that you are listening from disturbing your coworking neighbors. Additionally, noise cancelling headphones that cover your ears give the impression to outside observers that you are intensely focused on a vital project. Only the boldest and most amiable of coworkers will approach you to engage in conversation while you are wearing an earmuff-sized apparatus. Your fellow introverts in the area are probably wearing their own headphones, too.

2. Reusable water bottle.

Staying hydrated is vital to having a productive workday. In addition to reducing energy and waste, transporting your own water source to your coworking space ensures that you know where your next beverage is coming from. Furthermore, the larger the bottle, the fewer times you will need to refill it at the watercooler, minimizing potential interactions with other thirsty people. Conversely, if there is someone at your office you would like to connect with, you could time your bottle filling trips to coincide with theirs. These methods can apply to coffee drinkers as well.

3. Lunch kit.

Like traveling with a reusable water bottle, bringing your own midday meal to your workplace has environmental, financial, and health benefits. It also provides you with a sense of control over an important part of your day. Instead of wondering whether you are going to acquire food at an establishment near your building or hoping some gracious person ordered catering for the whole office, you get to decide what you are going to eat. When you bring your lunch to work, you can spend more time enjoying your meal than figuring out where to ingest it. Plus, lunch kits can hold snacks. Yum.

In addition to the usual suspects like your laptop, wallet, and phone, the items listed above can help introverts lead a happier workday. Noise cancelling headphones will enhance your aural experience. A reusable water bottle will deter dehydration. And a lunch kit will certify that you have the refreshments required to fuel your productivity. Toting all three gadgets to your coworking space will give you more control over your environment, as well as allow other introverts to identify their quiet comrades in the office.