Freelancing has become a huge trend in the past decade, but it doesn’t end there. The popularity of working in a coworking space is enormous at this point. The barrier of having to work alone at home is long gone. More and more people seek a desk or an office in a coworking space just to be ‘surrounded by other humans’.
Without a doubt, the loneliness of constantly working all by yourself can be challenging, which makes it very normal for people to seek such spaces. Coworking spaces are not only excellent for avoiding loneliness, but are also an amazing way to build new connections and learn from others.
As is the case with any office, organization in a coworking space is highly important. Because of this, you are bound to overhear some things at whichever space you choose to work in.
‘’Every expectation you have about a coworking space will probably be fulfilled. This is a unique way to network and connect with others and can open entirely new opportunities for work. But, the things that no one tells you is that every coworking space shares the same ‘unspoken rules’. You just have to learn to listen’’ – explains Sarah Whitney, a professional essay writer who works in a coworking space.
If you got used to working in your home office and forgot to work in an office with other people around you, then you need some guidance in terms of the coworking etiquette. Here is what the unwritten code of such offices consists of:
1. Not Everyone Wants to Hear Your Conversations
Whether you are speaking on the phone or with another worker, always keep the volume down. People come in these spaces to work and they won’t appreciate anyone who is disruptive.
If you need to speak on the phone, find a place where you won’t disrupt anyone. When they constantly have to attempt to work because you are disturbing them, you are soon to be confronted by someone, if not everyone in the office.
Always keep it quiet. Turn down the ringtone of your phone, silent the notifications on your laptop and simply respect the work of others. Act like you want others to act – do not disturb anyone if you don’t want to be disturbed when working.
2. You Don’t Have a Secretary or a Maid
This is a shared space, which means that taking care of it is everyone’s obligation. Don’t assume that everything in the space belongs to you. In a shared space, the items belong to everyone and everyone is obliged to clean up their mess.
Don’t be surprised if others act badly and judge you when you leave dirty dishes in the sink, or leave a mess behind when you spill something. Coworking spaces are offices for individuals who work and everyone is expected to do their job on their own.
This also means that you should take care of the common spaces when you notice that something needs to be cleaned or missing. When you sip the last coffee from the urn, always make sure to make some more coffee. When you notice that there is no paper in the printed, fill it. It is the etiquette of shared spaces.
3. If You Didn’t Bring It, Don’t Eat It
Unless you agree on bringing food and beverages at work and eating whatever you please, don’t eat or drink other people’s food! And never, never take other person’s mug or plate!
4. Contain the Mess
If you are sharing your table or office with someone else, don’t assume that you are allowed to spread all your stuff out and across the table. Contain your mess and leave room for the other person, too.
5. The Signs Are There for a Reason
All those signs glued to the walls and the desks are there for a reason. When it says ‘recycle’, that’s what you need to do. If you see a sign ‘remove your food when you are done’, do it. All these rules apply to everyone, including yourself.
6. Ask Before You Readjust the Temperature
If you are too cold, another person may find the temperature to be just perfect. Don’t just readjust the temperature because it suits you. Ask everyone before you do this. And just in case someone does not want the temperature to be higher and lower (chances are there will be many people who don’t feel the same way you do), always carry a sweater with you.
Working in coworking spaces means that you are working together. Even though you may not be working towards the same goal or for the same company, you are all in this together. Act like it – and respect what people in the coworking space tell you. Rules are there for a reason.