Are you guilty of any of these?
Coworking is an exciting way to get productive, meet your goals, and collaborate with your network. The flexible, open-floor plan of shared spaces make it easy for you to socialize. You can expand your network among peers and fellow freelancers and solopreneurs of similar or varying sets of skills!
The sleek yet quirky design of coworking spaces encourages creativity and innovation, giving off a playful but professional feeling to an otherwise serious work environment. But don’t let the design and culture of a coworking space fool you into behaving like its your own house!
To make the place a conducive work environment, coworking spaces usually have a set of written and unwritten rules that you should follow. Even though you’re paying money to use the space, other people are too. A coworking space is still a public place, so treat it and the users with respect!
After you’ve brushed up on basic coworking etiquette, avoid the following bad habits when sharing a coworking space with friends or strangers:
1. Playing music on speakers.
No matter how awesome the vocal harmonies on a song may be, it would just sound like noise in a coworking space. Playing music on speakers may distract other users from their productivity goals for the day. If you prefer working while listening to music, use headphones!
2. Not using your indoor voices.
Discussing world peace and the next big idea to change the world can get exciting, and you may get carried away with talking about your passions. But, one of the users might be working on an important deadline and needs to focus. Remember to use your indoor voices when using shared spaces. If you need to make a long call or talk with your team, consider using the meeting room or moving to another table away from other users. That way, you have the privacy to discuss your business targets and other users won’t have to hear your client calls!
3. Treating the space like your house.
A coworking space, no matter how cozy it feels, is not your house! You can’t just leave your things anywhere you want, since someone else may have reserved that particular spot. Eat your lunch in the pantry, since other users might get distracted by the savory aroma of your food. Also, take time to clean up after you eat or drink because no one is going to clean up after you. Additionally, please don’t hoard office supplies! Check if supplies are in need of restocking, and inform the office manager accordingly.
4. Disrespecting boundaries.
PDA makes everyone uncomfortable, so a coworking space is definitely not the place for it. Even though there’s no HR to police your behavior in a coworking space, it’s just common decency to follow prescribed public behavior. Don’t get touchy-feely with your friends or with strangers, and maintain professionalism at all times! Just remember to respect everyone’s personal space. Headphones basically say “do not disturb,” so let your coworker get productive and tell them about your brilliant idea (or witty joke) later.
Coworking spaces are designed to make you more productive to reach your goals, so do your part in keeping the space in a great condition for others to use.