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Etiquette for Co-Work Space and Open Offices

Posted in Business Advice, Coworking, Small Office Advice on October 27, 2014

co-work and office space etiquette

There’s a lot to love about working in a co-work space (such as offered here at there’s the chance to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, the opportunity to make new friends, the ability to use our conference rooms for meetings when you need to impress clients, to utilize our administrative/reception services, and more.

Yet perhaps the biggest downside is the fact that there’s no door you can close to your office.  In other words, if your office mates get rowdy, there’s no escape.

To help our tenants share their co-work space and open offices well,  we recommend following these etiquette tips.

•    Remember that you’re not alone. In other words, everything you say and do could be heard by someone, so keep the extraneous noise to a minimum. If you know, for example, that you need to make a series of phone sales calls, or if you’re expecting a client call you know will go long, see if you can move to the kitchen or conference room (if not being used) for privacy and to let your co-work colleagues work in peace.

•    If you have a cold or cough, truly consider staying home. Not only will you help keep your co-work colleagues healthy, but your coughing, sneezing, etc. won’t be a distraction in the co-work space.

•    If you like to listen to music or talk radio, get a good headset so that you may listen, but your co-work space won’t be compromised. Even music played very softly can be a distraction to others.

•    Aim to not eat at your desk. Move to the kitchen to eat your lunch or snack. This will help keep crumbs at bay, but it also can keep smells to a minimum, too. You may love limburger cheese, but your co-work colleagues probably do not.

•    Be respectful of people’s time and privacy. Just because you’re sitting next to someone in a short-walled cubicle, or you’re sitting with others at a communal desk space doesn’t mean they’re happy to chat. Before approaching anyone, ask if this is a good time.

•    Help keep the space tidy. Pick up the wad of paper that missed the trash can. Wipe up drink spills quickly. And so on.

The main thing to remember when sharing co-work space is to treat others as you’d like to be treated. Or, if you’re really laid back and nothing seems to bother you, as your grandmother would like to be treated. Your grandmother probably would want things quiet, with no music, no long conversations near her desk, no crackling of paper as you eat a Big Mac at your desk (in fact, no eating the Big Mac at your desk at all: that’s what the kitchen is for, she’d say). And so on. If disagreements come up – and they will – work to make the conversation about them professional and collaborative.

If you’d like to learn more about our co-work space and executive office space, contact us at 518-694-0662.