Etiquette in a Shared Workspace

Coworking offices are lauded in the modern day work landscape for the sense of creativity and freedom that pulse throughout these shared workspaces. On top of being a cost-effective office rental option for many different kinds of workers — remote workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, etc. — coworking spaces trade the stuffy, drab office cubicles of the past for a more scintillating, nontraditional environment where possibilities and opportunities abound. While coworking spaces are appreciated for the fluid environment they foster, these spaces still require a set of rules and etiquette and ways to enforce them to run smoothly and optimize everyone’s experience in the workspace. Are you having trouble enforcing the etiquette in your shared workspace? We have some tips.

It’s a Team Effort: Work Together

Because coworking spaces are shared workspaces, it’s up to everyone to do their part and contribute to the success of the space. This means that it’s not just one person’s responsibility to enforce the etiquette of the space: it’s up to every renter as well as the office staff to make sure the space is functioning at its full potential and benefitting every member. To help everyone understand their role in this, post the house rules in prominent spaces throughout the office and include them in membership agreements.

Sharing is Caring

Coworking spaces conveniently feature plenty of technology and other resources that are meant to be shared among all the members of the space. Do your best to ensure that renters are being respectful of the shared resources and not hogging one piece of equipment or conference room for more time than they should.

Progress Checks

How can the people in your space do their part to enforce the etiquette if they aren’t aware of what they may be doing right or wrong? If you’re the manager of the space, it may benefit you and ultimately everyone else to hold progress checks with the renters to go over how they are personally contributing to the success of the space. You want to avoid the condescending nature of a parent/teacher conference-type meeting, so make sure they are short but sweet if you choose to go this route.

Team Building Exercises

The more bonded the people of your workspace feel to each other, the more they will make concerted efforts to make sure the space is working well for everyone. Setting aside time for team building activities can be an effective way to help the members of the coworking space see that they are each individually responsible for the success of the office. They can also be a casual break from the pressures of a normal workday.

Friendly Complaint Box

If the renters of your space are frequently coming to you with complaints about other people or certain house rules, set up an anonymous complaint box where tenants can air their grievances. Problems can’t be rectified until they are properly expressed, and the complaint box will help members of the space complete this first step in problem-solving.

Monthly Team Meetings

In addition to anonymously submitting complaints, you can encourage the members of your office to speak up at monthly team meetings if there is a pressing issue that concerns everyone in the office. While certain problems are better left anonymous, others that are perhaps less personal can benefit from team discussion and collaboration.

Keep the Noise Down

The office can get loud when there are several people working on different projects at once, so it’s important that your renters are aware of their noise level and do their best to manage it. Encourage them to take calls in private conference rooms, or to move to a quieter spot in the office if a conversation is becoming more passionate than is beneficial to the noise level.

Keep it Clean

Nothing is more stressful than a cluttered, dirty office space. Make sure the people renting the coworking space are cleaning up after themselves and contributing to a neat workspace that promotes productivity and awareness. Even if you have a general cleaning service, sloppy renters can damage the image of your space in the long run.

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