To maintain a decent ambience, a set of coworking space etiquette need to be followed.
While working in a shared office space, you can help create a friendly environment by being conscientious of the other workers. You can even establish a courteous coworking space etiquette that everyone will adopt.
If you use or are looking for an office space to share, please consider these shared coworking space etiquette tips.
List of Coworking Space Etiquette
Maintain a tidy workspace
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
This is the most basic coworking space etiquette.
Be it your home or any other place, maintaining a tidy workspace is a must.
After you’re done working at your coworking space for the day, it is important that you wipe your space clean and leave the workspace like it was before you used it.
In small coworking spaces, people get familiar with each other and occupy a particular space for a long period of time.
However, this does not mean that that particular desk is yours forever.
There will be days when you’re not at your workspace and someone else is using that desk for a few hours.
This means that keeping it clean is very important. It is nice to make a habit of tidying up your workspace every day after work.
Try and use phone booths
Helping maintain a conducive atmosphere for work is a very important aspect of coworking space etiquette.
In case you need to make a long work call, then it’s best to go to a phone booth or other areas designed for informal meetings.
It can be very frustrating to try and concentrate while someone is talking loudly over the phone for a prolonged period of time.
Even though most people won’t inform you that they’re bothered by it, they definitely will be.
Avoid borrowing from other coworking members
Coworking Space Etiquette also includes not disturbing fellow coworkers unnecessarily.
Even though coworking spaces are a community of hard-working and dedicated individuals, this doesn’t give us the right to borrow supplies from other coworking members.
It is acceptable to borrow supplies once in a while, but repeating this at an alarming rate is not desirable.
Coworking members bring supplies only for themselves and if they’re asked to lend some of their supplies to other coworking members, this poses a distraction and is a problem for them.
Be friendly and polite
If you want to enjoy the benefits of being at a coworking space, this is one coworking space etiquette you should remember well.
Being friendly and polite are traits that every individual should possess, irrespective of whether he/she works in a coworking space or not.
A coworking space, by definition, is a community that belongs to freelancers and employees working in small and big organizations.
In such a community, it is important that members treat each other with kindness and compassion, otherwise, the sense of a community is lost.
Simple acts like making another pot of coffee after you’ve drunk the remaining coffee, stacking the printer tray with paper after you’ve used up the last sheet can go a long way in building your workspace reputation.
It will also help in networking as the more you get people to like you, the more people will be willing to work for and with you.
Maintain decent eating habits
Eating manners must have been taught to you in your childhood and not just in a blog about coworking space etiquette.
Food is delicious but in the workspace, no one wants the smell of your spicy butter chicken in the air.
Every coworking space has a cafeteria or a lunchroom where members eat. When you eat at your desk instead of the cafeteria or lunchroom, someone is NOT going to like the odour of your food.
On top of that, eating food that smells strong, makes you come off as impolite and affects your workspace reputation in a negative manner.
Some coworking spaces even go to the length of barring entry into the coworking space if you break their food rules.
Do not encroach into other’s spaces
Privacy is primary!
You should avoid hovering above someone’s head or peeking over their cubicle when feeling the need to speak to somebody.
It is also impolite to catch someone’s attention by tapping lightly on their cubicle or desk.
Touching, eating or using anything that is not yours is a strict no-no.
In the event that you have to borrow something from another coworking space members, ask politely and be sure to return the article back to its owner.
Make sure you smell good
Not just as a part of coworking space etiquette, personal hygiene anywhere CANNOT be ignored!
It is not pleasant in any way to share the coworking space with an individual who spreads a strong odour that is, again, not pleasant.
You should always make sure to take a shower in the morning or use deodorant. People are generally not kind towards individuals who smell bad.
On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that strong perfume is the way to go in a coworking space.
The trick is to keep things simple.
Make sure you connect well with others
One of the most important reasons for joining a coworking space is networking.
The chance to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds is something that can happen only in a coworking space.
Networking with other individuals can help you increase your connections list and get some free word of mouth advertising.
It can look challenging but making a habit to join people for lunch instead of eating at your own desk can help you in more ways than one.
Making friends is always useful and for coworking spaces, it is no different.
Refrain from making noises
This will probably make it to the top three in the list of coworking space etiquette.
Many a time, we make noises without meaning to.
The thing is we don’t see or hear ourselves when we are immersed in work.
Without knowing, we can start humming, whistling, squeaking a chair or scratching something on the desk. Try to be careful with these details because you can very easily get on people’s nerves.
If you do find yourself guilty of one of these, you should apologize immediately and try taking your headphones off for a while.
It can help you be more aware of your desk habits and even improve them along the way.
Make use of meeting rooms
A generally overlooked part of coworking space etiquette is using resources for the jobs they were meant to be used for.
In coworking spaces, people are generally unwilling to make use of meeting rooms because they feel there could be more important meetings out there in need of space.
While the meeting rooms are free for most of the day, there are people who cram over one person’s desk. First, this is inefficient for you because you need to work in uncomfortable conditions.
Second, it is very irritating for people who want to focus on their work and are disturbed by your constant chatter.
Make everyone a service and just use that meeting room.
Don’t offend anyone
This is applicable not just as coworking space etiquette, but generally decent human behaviour.
A coworking space is a no discrimination zone.
It is available to anyone from anywhere, irrespective of caste, creed, sex, and religion.
It is a place free of any kind of discrimination, which makes it appealing in India where there is a vast diversity of people.
In line with this, it is important to be mindful of other people’s cultural and religious backgrounds, and races.
You should definitely avoid sensitive jokes, demeaning remarks, and racist and/or gender-biased comments and conversation.
Coworking spaces are places of positivity.
Individuals and organizations come here to work.
The coworking space etiquette stated and described above are to be followed in every workspace, coworking or not.
This is how the coworking goal of a community can be fulfilled.