The Definitive Guide to Coworking Office Space Etiquette! (They’re not rules!)
Every office has one. You know, the person who microwaves mackerel for breakfast. And scoffs egg sandwiches for lunch. The colleague whose pongy dietary habits illicit glares, stares, eye rolls and tuts.
The one who doesn’t understand office etiquette.
But etiquette is crucial in an office environment. How someone acts and behaves can make a real difference to the people around them.
If you work in a coworking space, you could argue that etiquette is even more important. You’re surrounded by people you don’t know, doing jobs you know nothing about. There’s no MD to moan to or HR person to step in.
Whether you’re new to the world of coworking, or you’re a bit of an old hat, it’s worth being clued up on etiquette dos and don’ts.
We’ve put together a few suggestions to help create a pleasant work environment for you and your fellow office mates.
Leave the mackerel at home
We’ve already mentioned this one, but it’s a biggy. If you want to ingratiate yourself with your coworking colleagues, be mindful of what you eat. Try to avoid foods that are smelly, messy and noisy to eat. We’re talking fish, garlic, onions and tortilla chips.
Another tip. If you bring food in from home, don’t leave it festering in the fridge. No one wants to be faced with a mouldy cheese sandwich when they go to get their lunch.
Clean up after yourself
Always, always clear up your mess and leave your desk or meeting room how you found it. The last thing your fellow coworkers want to do is throw away your rubbish or get rid of your dirty coffee cups.
Use indoor voices
If you have to take a call at your desk, try to keep your voice down as much as possible to avoid disturbing other people. Ideally, you should take phone calls away from fellow workers and carry out meetings away from your desk, preferably in a bookable meeting room.
Don’t steal people’s stuff
That includes borrowing without asking. Whether you’ve forgotten a pen or spot a pack of biscuits in the kitchen, don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you. Unless you’re happy to be branded the office thief, of course.
Don’t hog communal areas/meeting rooms/showers
Be mindful of the fact that other people also want to use the office amenities and services. Try to avoid block booking meeting rooms on the same day every week or hogging the communal areas for a weekly all-hands. Even more importantly, don’t spend hours in the shower or finish off all the complimentary snacks.
Be considerate, kind and polite
Hopefully, you’re all these things anyway. But just in case, it’s vital to treat those around you with courtesy and respect. Remember, everyone’s there to try and get a job done. There’s no room for bad manners or angry outbursts in a coworking space.
Stay home if you’re ill
You don’t want to be responsible for an office-wide sick bug or a flu outbreak. It may seem like commonsense, but if you feel poorly, don’t come into the office. And if you start feeling ill at work, go home.
Coworking spaces are the perfect solution for those days you want to escape the kitchen table or can’t face the commute to corporate HQ. Stick to these office rules and you’ll help create a harmonious working environment for everyone. And you might even make some mates along the way.
Have you witnessed any office etiquette fails? We’d love to hear your stories. Leave them in the comment section below.