YOUR GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE IN OPEN WORKSPACES
Flexible working, although not yet widely practiced, is expected to grow in popularity. The recent Work Trends Study
s showed that while almost half of people had never heard of coworking, over 60% of people would like to work outside of the office, and a third of people would like to work in a coworking space.
If you’re intending to be a part of the trend and join a coworking space, there are some unspoken rules and etiquettes that must be observed if you’re to make the most out of this new, flexible way of working.
1. KEEP THE NOISE DOWN
Although you’re out of the usual stuffy office environment, that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly free to blast loud music or make phone calls whenever you please. Spare a thought for those around you, who are here to work too. You might find that there’s a break-out space reserved especially for phone calls or skype meetings, so be sure to use it. Equally, there could be an office radio or playlist that gives the place its atmosphere. If you want to listen to your own music, bring headphones.
2. DON’T BE A DISTRACTION
You may have joined a coworking space in order to get out of the house and be a part of an office environment again. While it’s nice to chat to your fellow coworkers, be careful not to distract them from their work. Save the socialising for after hours.
3. KEEP YOUR SPACE TIDY
Coworking usually operates in the same manner as hot desking – meaning you will probably sit somewhere different each day. Be mindful of the other coworkers and keep your things within your own space. Take everything home with you at the end of the day – you should leave the desk exactly as you found it.
4. HELP WITH THE UPKEEP
Unlike traditional offices, coworking spaces may not have cleaners after hours. This means it’s your responsibility to keep the place looking spick and span. Things like emptying the dishwasher or drying rack, throwing out stale milk and dusting the desks from time to time will help to maintain the office for everyone.
5. BE FRIENDLY
If you’re here because working from home feels like solitary confinement, make the most of it. Get to know the people you work alongside, and be sure to attend social events. You could meet some great new friends, or even make new business contacts.
6. BE PRODUCTIVE
It’s easy to spiral into procrastination when you have no manager looking over your shoulder, but your lack of productivity could affect those around you. If you find yourself struggling to focus, try setting yourself allocated break and lunch times, or get outside for a breath of fresh air.
The great thing about coworking spaces is the huge variety of skills and specialisms your coworkers will have. While you might be a whizz at coding, somebody else sat on the same table as you might be a pro when it comes to writing or illustration. By combining your skill set you could help each other out, or even work together to tackle problems for your clients.
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