With a rapid rise in cost effective and user friendly Coworking spaces, office goers are increasingly drawn to coworking instead of traditional offices. But even the brightest of spaces can loose their gleam for some if the next-desk neighbour isn’t the cooperative kind. The secret to a happy Coworking experience doesn’t just lie with the host, but is equally contributed to by the members. There is a silent set of rules, the unsaid do’s and don’ts that make the Coworking dream every bit as juicy as it was intended to be. So, How to be a good coworker? I and my team at InstaOffice spoke to members across our four coworking spaces to draw up a mini-list of the courtesies and oh-nos they feel all should be aware of.
Keep reading below to know:
Keep The Noise At Bay When You’re at the Desk
Many members say the noise associated with a coworking space is what propels them to stay active and fuelled. Yet many others feel that constant phone calls and team-discussions on desks can be really annoying. The easy way to deal with it though would be to just be mindful. If you really have to take calls all day, wouldn’t it be nicer to use common areas or dedicated spaces for some of these calls.
Know What’s Meant For you and What’s Not
You need to keep your hands off personal items especially in the kitchen area. It’s good to be friendly, but always ask before you take something.
Conference rooms aren’t your personal lounge
You may be too enthusiastic about having your team in a brand new place, or might enjoy entertaining all your clients and vendors in a dedicated room but are you also preventing others from using these shared services? Overbooking meeting rooms can cause a lot of resentment among your fellow members. Do not mistake the conference rooms for your private cabin, leave enough space on the signing sheet for others.
Know When You are Over-Networking
While collaborating is necessary, it is also important to realise when it is time to take off. Sure – Jack in the next seat enjoys sharing SMO tidbits with you, but don’t try to make him your free social media expert. Many people are happy to help and share ideas but always make sure its a comfortable time for them and that you do not overstay your welcome.
There’s No One Else Who’d Clear Your Mess – DIY
No one wants to work with someone who leaves a pile of papers stacked on his/her desk or a heap of clutter every time they use the common spaces. Whether it is in the pantry, restroom or meeting room always double check before leaving to make sure there are no non-disposed materials, wet surfaces or dirty shelves.
Try To be Polite with Others
The objective of coworking is not just economy but also networking and community. Be polite in your interactions and courteous in your manner. No one expects you to be like Jeeves but a casual smile when passing by and a how do you do can go a long way in building a positive atmosphere.
Office manager does not translate to Personal Assistant
Most office managers are invested in making the members happy but under no circumstances must you assume the office manager to be solely at your disposal. Office managers have several duties under their umbrella like, community management, facility functioning, personnel management, grievance reddresal, etc., and it is true that many times they may go out of their way to help you feel comfortable but expecting them to be at your beck and call is unreasonable. So if that printer isn’t printing double check if its plugged in correct before writing a long email about how the office equipment is not up to the mark.
Be Generous and Give back Whenever you Can
It’s a busy world and taking out time for community efforts can be challenging sometimes, but try not to be always at the receiving end. From helping out co-members to keeping the coffee pot full, and pantry stacked, giving back not just feels good but also aids in networking and fostering healthy relationships. Your friend’s office is looking for a new space to work out of, so maybe introduce them to your host.
It’s never bring your friend to work day
Unless it really is and it has been so said in a mail from your office manager. Try to keep your friend’s impromptu visits to a minimum or maybe chose a different venue altogether. Some spaces have lounges and cafes for the very purpose, desks are for work only.
Most coworking spaces are a mix of members from different backgrounds, work cultures and personas. Managing decorum and making sure everyone ends up with a pleasant experience can be an uphill task for even the most seasoned of office managers. Hence, sometimes it is up to you to just be in the moment and enjoy the vibrancy and blast of colors that coworking is. With coworking, at any time there is more to gain than to lose. So take the best bits and seize the day.
This is a guest post contributed my Mr. Vikas Lakhani, Co-Founder at InstaOffice.