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As the number of freelancers and remote workers have increased, so has the need for coworking space. Not everyone has a great working atmosphere at home, and they use coworking spaces to get a feeling of community and connect with like-minded professionals.
Many people also want a quiet space where they can focus and get work done without being interrupted by kids, roommates, friends, or family.
The number of global coworking spaces in 2020 is estimated at 20,000, and by 2024, that number is expected to double to 40,000.
Coworking in the same space with others can have both advantages and disadvantages. It fosters a sense of professional energy and innovation and can help an independent worker or freelancer feel more motivated.
But, if those sharing the coworking space aren’t following good etiquette, it can cause problems and uncomfortable situations. Someone that keeps interrupting you to go over their new great inspirational idea, can tank your productivity and increase your stress level.
What are the best practices to follow when you’re using shared office space? Here are several rules to follow for better coworking harmony.
It’s true that one of the reasons that people choose coworking environment is to connect with other professionals. However, coworking isn’t a social event. People are there to get work done and constant interruptions can keep that from happening.
Respect that people have things to do other than shoot the breeze about the latest news. If you want to run an idea by a coworking friend, ask them if they have time for a short meeting and schedule that just as you would any other meeting.
Avoid constantly interrupting people to “run something by” them and respect that some people may just want to be left alone.
While a coworking space isn’t meant to be as quiet as a library, you still need to watch how much noise you’re putting out that could disturb others.
For example, are you one of those people that screams out loud when your computer isn’t doing what you want? That’s going to begin grating on people’s nerves after the 4th or 5th time.
Business calls are naturally going to happen in a coworking environment, but you can still watch the volume of your voice and don’t put the person you’re speaking to on speaker phone. If you’re on a video meeting, use a headset to reduce the noise pollution you’re putting out into the space.
Many coworking spaces are considered “hot desks,” which means someone else may be using that same desk area right after you leave.
Make sure you keep your space tidy and clean up any crumbs or coffee stains from the area before you go. Leave the coworking space for the next person as you’d like to find it when you first come in to use it.
This is especially important because of the pandemic. If you have some Clorox wipes with you for both before and after you use the space, even better.
Remember the kid back in high school that always seemed to need to borrow a pencil or sheet of paper? Don’t be that person for your coworking colleagues!
Bring all the supplies you think you might need for the day, such as:
While someone may not be bothered by a rare ask to borrow a pen, if you continually rely on being able to borrow what you need at the shared office space, you’re going to get on people’s nerves pretty quickly.
Of course, you want to use good personal hygiene when working in close proximity to others, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with a perfume or cologne scent.
Some people are very susceptible to scents and may have an allergic reaction and have to leave. Others may just dislike the strong scent because it’s a distraction for them.
Save your scents for after you get off work and keep the coworking environment as scent-free as possible.
When you initially get to your hot desk, you may find that no one is working next to you and think, “Great! I can spread out!” But what you do is cause someone that might come in later to have to ask you to move over, which can be uncomfortable.
It’s good manners to stay within your defined desk space, and lets others know that you respect the rules.
Tysons Office Suites offers flexible options for coworking space that include an affordable hot desk option and dedicated desk space that’s all yours.