With today’s modern technology, and the dawn of the digital era, people can work remotely from home, a cafe or even on the beach – well near the beach, sand and technology don’t mix well – on their laptops with more ease than ever before. Because of this, coworking spaces and shared office setups are popping up in cities, and even towns, all over the US. A simple internet search for ‘shared office space near me’ will give you a rather impressive number of results.
While these shared workspaces may be a new concept for some, they have been around for a while now and their increasing popularity shows that they aren’t going away any time soon. With these kinds of workspaces being more relaxed in nature than a traditional office space, you might wonder how to behave in such a work environment.
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of etiquette tips so you can be prepared for getting down to work in a shared office space.
In most shared office spaces, there is an option to choose to use either a hot desk or a dedicated desk. A hot desk is simply a desk that you choose when you arrive on a first-come-first-serve basis, while a dedicated desk is one that is dedicated for your exclusive use. It is wise to respect the boundaries and allow others ample room in the communal hot desk spaces and cross the boundaries by venturing to a dedicated desk to borrow a book or a pen.
A shared office space doesn’t need to be treated like a library but you should be mindful of keeping noise to a minimum. After all, you and others using the space are trying to concentrate and get important work done. If you can, try to take business phone calls in the communal spaces or reserve a private meeting room if you need to take an extensive or lengthy call. If you must take an important call in a shared work area, use headphones to keep the distraction for fellow coworkers to a minimum. The same goes for those of you who like to listen to music while you work.
As in most workspaces, you need to keep your area clean and tidy so as not to upset and distract others. This is especially true if you are using a hot desk, you should leave it as you found it and always tidy up after yourself. If there is a kitchen facility with tea and coffee making amenities, be sure to wash them your utensils and cups, and return them to their rightful place as well as putting any rubbish into the bin.
Shared office space is, as the name suggests, shared with others, so it is a good idea to be mindful and respectful of your coworking colleagues. If a colleague is wearing headphones and looks very busy, it’s a good idea to let them get on with their work without interruption. Reserve your networking efforts for the communal areas. By being open, honest and respectful of your fellow workmates you are sure to make some great business connections when the opportunity presents itself.
As you can see, most of the etiquette for shared office space is the same as it would be in a traditional office space. By following these tips, tweaking your behaviour with a little common sense and respecting your coworking colleagues, you’ll be well on your way to shared workspace success.