Have you ever had a co-worker who brings food that makes the entire office smell horrible? Or a co-worker who is constantly asking for your laptop charger when are in the middle of working on a project? As co-working spaces have become more popular, so do the problems that people may face while working in one of these spaces. We have all had that one person at the office that does not understand the basic rules of how to work in a shared work environment. Here are some etiquette guidelines that will help you be the co-worker that everyone loves!
- Beware of Noise
As there are fewer barriers and walls between where people are working, sound travels a lot more throughout the space that you are working in. It is important to be aware that there are many different people in the working area. Using a pleasant and quiet phone voice will prevent any conflict and ensure that other workers are not distracted from your conversations and also allow them to easily carry out any conversations that they might need to have.
- Be Conscious of Time When Booking Meeting Rooms
There are many perks of working in a co-working space and one of them is having access to conference rooms or meeting room pods. A problem with these spaces is that people sometimes overstay the allotted time, which ultimately delays the next person signed up to use the space. On the other hand, sometimes people will overbook a room “just in case” their meeting goes over or they forget to cancel their reservation when they don’t need the room. In both of these instances, the room is left empty when someone could have been utilizing that space. To avoid any conflict, simply be mindful of the time when you reserve certain spaces.
- Share the Equipment
In a co-working space, there is a lot of different equipment that people have access to use at their discretion. Printers, scanners, or even specialized tools such as power tools in a DIY maker space are just some of the equipment that might be in these spaces. It is important to remember that you may not be the only person that needs to use the equipment. The key word to remember is share. Sharing the space and equipment is not only respectful but your coworkers will appreciate you not hogging the printer all day!
- Tidy Up the Area
With shared workspaces, comes many different people moving around during the day and it is easy for these spaces to get quite messy. When leaving an area, cleaning up and make a goal to leave the workspace as if nobody had been using it. Show consideration for your co-workers by keeping your coffee cups, food wrappers and other waste to a minimum. Organizing your desk effectively will both reduce the risk of upsetting your neighbors, and help improve your own productivity.
- Be Self-Sufficient
Although many co-working spaces value collaboration and debate, nearly all expect you to be self-sufficient. That means figuring things out on your own before you disrupt other people with questions. For example: If you are wondering “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” Look around— it will most likely be posted on a board. Co-working offers an awesome blend of working in teams and alone, but don’t be tempted to go overboard in relying on others.
- Respect Personal Space
Personal space is very important in these types of working spaces. Even though you are in a communal area it is important to realize that people need to get work done. There is a time for collaboration but there is also a time to keep to yourself and work independently. If someone looks like they are busy and working on something, they probably are and unless urgent, try not to interrupt them.
- Be Kind and Friendly
It might seem insignificant, but greeting your co-workers with a smile can do wonders to enhance your shared working environment. Having an angry or upset co-worker is not only distracting, uncomfortable and brings negativity into the space. Not only are happier work environments more productive, but making an effort to interact with your fellow co-workers may earn you some valuable networking connections.
- Expand your network
One of the biggest benefits of shared working spaces are the networking opportunities. Reach out to other renters or coworkers, and get to know them and what they do. These connections can be valuable and can help earn you some word-of-mouth advertising and while it’s understandable that work can get really busy at certain times, during those slower periods it does make a difference to the overall atmosphere when co-workers make an effort to introduce themselves and interact with others.
When working in a co-working space, it is essential that you are aware of how your behavior and actions can easily affect those around you. The experience of working in one of these spaces can be a very positive one but can quickly turn negative because of one bad co-worker. If you follow these simple rules, you will not only make your experience better but you will also make the experience better for the people around you.