Working from a coworking space offers up so many benefits, making it hardly surprising that more and more people are making the move to shared offices.
With that said, when working in close proximity with other people who are also working independently, there are a few unwritten rules that you should abide by in order to help keep that coworking space running smoothly. Read on as Circle Hub talks you through the main dos and don’ts when it comes to coworking etiquette.
Do: Be Mindful About How Much Noise You’re Making
Consideration for others is vital when using a coworking space, and the amount of noise that you make is a big part of this. Sure, many coworking spaces are pretty relaxed. This means that you won’t need to whisper in the way that you would if you were visiting a public library. However, if you do happen to engage in conversation with someone, make an effort to keep the volume down. Additionally, don’t allow the conversation to drag on for too long when there are other people working around you.
Aside from the conversations that you have, be mindful of how much noise you’re making at other times too. From heavy footsteps to slamming things down on your desk to using devices that emit loud notifications, all of this will only end up distracting the other people who are using the coworking space.
Instead, try to keep your noise output to a minimum, which is what you would expect other people to do for you, so that you don’t end up interrupting people’s flow of work.
Don’t: Host Meetings in Common Areas
Whether you’re meeting up with a client or you have a video meeting scheduled, it can sometimes be tempting to host these meetings in the common areas provided by a coworking space. At Circle Hub, for example, we have several common areas where our members can hang out.
However, these areas are designed to provide people with some relaxing downtime. If you were to host a meeting in the middle of one of these spaces, you would end up interfering with that. You would also struggle to have a successful meeting since there would be so many other people milling around.
This is why many coworking spaces have designated meeting rooms that are available to hire by the hour. You’ll find several conference rooms available at Circle Hub, enabling you to choose from a variety of sizes. Whether you’re hosting a small team meeting or a large brainstorming session, each meeting room comes with a flat-screen TV and a whiteboard. This will make it even easier for you to present your ideas or brainstorm with others.
If a conference room feels like overkill for a short video meeting, another option would be to hire a private office suite for an hour. Some of our offices are designed specifically for this purpose, with just one desk and a lower price to match.
Do: Stay on Schedule
Many coworking spaces, including Circle Hub, offer a variety of workspaces. If you plan on using our hot spots, then this means that you can turn up whenever you want at any time of the day (or night – we’re open 24/7!), find an available desk, and get to work. You can then use that desk for as long as you need to.
However, we also provide a designated desk service. With this, you can book your desk in advance for the hours during which you’ll need it. This system works very well, but only if people stick to the schedule. Once your allotted time is up, it’s important that you swiftly move on. After all, someone else may have booked the desk immediately after.
What happens if you don’t book your desk for long enough and still have more work to do? Again, this is where our hot spots come in handy. You’ll still need to give up your designated desk and move to one of the hot spot desks but, once there, you can stick around for however long you need to.
Don’t: Make a Mess
One of the biggest rules to follow when working at a coworking space is to keep your working area neat. Even if you usually have a variety of different items strewn across your desk at home, you need to be mindful of others when using a shared office.
The people around you won’t want to be surrounded by mess and disorganization. In fact, several studies have found that working in an organized environment can help to increase productivity. The brain finds it harder to focus when surrounded by clutter. Therefore, keeping your workspace tidy will not only allow you to work better but it will have that effect on the people around you too.
Keeping your belongings organized and your workspace clean will also make it easier for you to tidy and pack up once you’re done working for the day. While most coworking spaces will make use of a professional cleaning service to keep the office hygienic, desks aren’t usually cleaned in between uses. This makes it your responsibility to leave the desk as you found it. This way, the person using the desk after you will be able to sit down and get straight to work. They won’t have to waste time throwing out your empty coffee cups or mopping up any spills you’ve made!
Do: Be Friendly
One of the biggest advantages of using a coworking space is the ability to expand your professional network. Coworking spaces are filled with professionals from a variety of industries, making them great for meeting new people.
However, in order for others to want to approach you, you need to be friendly. Be generous with your smiles and be open to conversations with others. This doesn’t mean that you need to interrupt your workday to socialize when you aren’t in the mood to do so. However, when spending time in common areas, be open to the idea of meeting new people. You never know – this could lead to new opportunities for your business!
If the socializing aspect of coworking really appeals to you, pick a coworking space that encourages this. For example, at Circle Hub, we host regular events where our members can get to know each other. They’re casual, relaxed, and lots of fun. They’ll be much more enjoyable than the strait-laced networking events you may have attended in the past!
Don’t: Be Greedy With Equipment and Amenities
In addition to providing a desk to work at, many coworking spaces offer the use of additional office equipment, as well as extra amenities. These are for members to take full advantage of. However, at the same time, you need to once again be mindful of the others around you.
For example, say you need to use Circle Hub’s printing facilities to print off a 200-page document. There’s nothing wrong with doing so – that’s exactly what our printers are there for! However, if you know that you’ll need to dominate the printer for a couple of hours, do so at a quiet time when other people don’t need to use it. If you end up with a queue behind you, consider allowing others to quickly print off their pages before continuing on with yours.
The same applies to everything from our gaming room to our onsite gym. Make the most of all of these amenities but don’t hog them if other people want to use them too! Common courtesy is so important when sharing a workspace with others.
Do: Be Respectful of Boundaries
As we mentioned earlier, socializing and networking are two of the benefits that come from working at a coworking space. If you’re a natural extrovert, then you’ll love having the opportunity to meet so many new people.
However, it’s important to be respectful of other people’s boundaries when it comes to this. Whether you’ve seen someone that you know sitting across the room or you’re intrigued by some computer software that the person next to you is using, be mindful of the fact that those people are hard at work. They may not want to be interrupted at that time. Even if you only plan on speaking to them for a couple of minutes, it can sometimes take much longer for a person to get back into their workflow. Your short interruption could end up being very detrimental to their day.
Instead of approaching people while they’re in the middle of working, save your socializing and networking efforts for when they’re taking some downtime. Again, our common areas provide the perfect space in which you can spend a while chatting with others without being a distraction.
Don’t: Visit a Coworking Space if You’re Unwell
This one may seem a little obvious but it has become even more important since the pandemic. If you’re ever feeling even slightly unwell, refrain from stopping by at your coworking space until you’re better.
Nobody wants to be exposed to extra germs, and chances are that you feel the same way. You probably wouldn’t appreciate it if the person working next to you was sniffing and sneezing their way through the day. So, don’t subject others to this either!
Do: Follow the Rules
The dos and don’ts that we’ve shared so far are all pretty general when it comes to coworking etiquette. However, every coworking space will have its own set of rules for members to follow.
From noise policies to rules about what you can and can’t use the kitchen for, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these when you first start working at a coworking space.
Don’t be tempted to break any of the rules either. Most coworking spaces will have a community manager on hand to make sure that everything is running smoothly. If you end up repeatedly breaking the rules of that space, you may find it much harder to renew your membership the following month!
If you’re new to coworking, it’s well worth acquainting yourself with these coworking etiquette tips. Following them will not only help you to get the most out of your experience but will also ensure that the coworking space is able to meet the needs of everyone else who uses it too. Shared offices have the potential to work so well, but only if everyone who uses that space is on the same page!
Want to know more about the coworking spaces available at Circle Hub? Click here to book a tour today!