Well-equipped coworking space meets the requirements of most working professionals or individuals running a business in the significantly changed work scape today. While shared offices provide better amenities than traditional office spaces and foster productivity, it is also essential that in return, the space users are conscientious enough to follow a code of conduct and adopt coworking space etiquettes.
It won’t hurt to make little efforts to keep the coworking community happy
Since a coworking space brings a host of benefits to the space users, it is only reasonable to expect the coworking community members to respect the shared workspace etiquettes. Although the concept has caught the world by storm, sometimes, space occupants (especially the new ones) can be unaware of the shared office space rules to consider.
That’s why we decided to curate a quick guide that covers the key coworking space etiquettes to be mindful of.
- Be considerate towards respecting and maintaining boundaries
While coworking space offers an amazing opportunity to build new connections, it is important to be mindful of other community members’ space. Be certain of using only the allowed space and avoid scattering your belongings in the extra space. If your bunch of items like stationery, bag, or headphones are spilling over the authorized access space of someone else in the communal space, it can come across as highly disrespectful. Additionally, stay away from going through any document lying on a desk or peeking at your neighbour’s computer screen. Consider this as completely off-limits.
Also, boundaries translate into more than just physical boundaries.
So, if you see your fellow community member immersed in their work, with headphones on, it’s best to take the cue and not disturb them. It is great if you find like-minded people to collaborate and communicate with, but if you don’t, work at being self-sufficient.
- Book a meeting space in advance and stick to the schedule
An important rule to abide by when conducting or participating in a meeting is to stick to the schedule. If you stretch your meeting or work call beyond the time you booked the room for, you can inadvertently lead to delay in other communal space member’s deliverables. Also, reach out to your community manager, in advance, and confirm the booking.
It may sometimes, as an exception, be beyond your area of control or due to unforeseen circumstances, that the delay happens. In such instances, it would be courteous to apologize for the delay or the inconvenience caused to the other member’s plans. It’s best to practice time management and workplace efficiency to avoid such bumps. A quick tip: Wrap up your calls in a fixed timeframe and do not prolong meetings unnecessarily.
- Keep your workstation neat and tidy
Be organized and make a dedicated effort to keep your workstation clean. Be mindful of cleaning up after yourself, as it can be very unpleasant for people coming and going in a shared office to deal with a messy workstation after you have left. Or for that matter, even looking at the unsightly coffee mug rings that you have created can reflect poorly on you, and would speak a lot about you as a person and your ethos.
Small things like wiping surfaces with a tissue, or tossing your coffee mug in the office pantry can make a lot of difference. It is crucial that you leave the coworking space every day like no one used it, and a famous quote to swear by here is, “Cleanliness and organizing is a practice, not a project”.
- Maintain a normal and pleasant phone voice
It’s crucial that you maintain a respectful and pleasant tone while making any telephonic conversations. When attending work or a personal call, it’s best to step away from the desk and walk to the hallway, or a quiet part of the building or outside, while maintaining a level of noise that is in no way distracting for others.
When other workers in a communal space can hear you loud and clear, it is not just uncomfortable for them, but can also potentially lead to a conflict. It is a good idea to remember that several other individuals are using the same co-working space, and everyone’s work, irrespective of nature, is important. While it is impossible to eliminate the background noise, especially in an open workspace, there can be a level of noise that everyone unanimously agrees upon as reasonable.
- Eat only in the designated areas
Be courteous enough to eat in the designated eating area like an office cafeteria, and avoid eating at the workstation. If possible refrain from bringing food that carries a strong smell and can cause unpleasantness among your community members at a coworking space.
It is best to take care of your own dishes and not leave them to be cleared by the office housekeeping staff. While they are there to keep the work areas neat and orderly, you would be setting a good example for others to follow by stashing away your dishes to the sink or a pantry, by yourself.
A final word
Meeting a diverse set of expectations may not sound easy. However, when compared to an isolated, disrupted work from home scenario, a coworking space offers a host of advantages, besides a conducive work environment.
The least you can do as a responsible coworking community member is follow the code of conduct that has been laid by the management or adopt the basic etiquette. This contribution would ensure smooth functioning of the workspace that has so much to offer to you and others, meanwhile eliminating the chances of unpleasantness or shared-space friction.