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An Entrepreneur's Guide to Coworking Space Etiquette

By Jake Nordquist   |    November 19, 2018   |    11:04 AM

The Do’s and Don'ts of Working From Shared Office Space

So, you just joined your first coworking space… congrats! You’re one step closer to scaling your business affordably, while making some great connections with fellow small business owners and professionals in your community.

It’s certainly exciting, but if you’ve never worked from a shared and open office before, you might not be familiar with the etiquette of these spaces.

Since you'll be working alongside other professionals growing their businesses, it pays to brush up on open office etiquette before your first day. This quick guide will ensure you:

  • Don't accidentally agitate your fellow coworkers.
  • Get more of your best work done.
  • Get the most out of your coworking space membership.

With that in mind, here are 5 of Intelligent Office’s top tips for succeeding in a coworking space.

1. Be mindful of your noise level

Because coworking spaces are shared amongst a number of professionals, everyone needs to do their part to keep the volume level reasonable.

If you need to take a long call, a generally accepted ‘best practice’ is to find a quiet spot where your conversation won’t disturb the rest of the office. Many coworking spaces even have small, quiet meetings rooms designed for phone calls.

Every shared office has a different culture around background noise — some will be louder and more boisterous and others will be much quieter. If you have a strong preference, don’t forget to ask about (and pay specific attention to) noise levels when you tour a space.

2. Have a noise management plan

Even the quietest of coworking spaces will have some degree of noise, so it’s always helpful to come prepared. There’s a reason noise canceling headphones are a popular tool amongst people who work from shared, open offices: they can be a lifesaver when you need to concentrate.

3. Don’t be afraid to network in your coworking space

Organic networking is another benefit to working in a coworking space, so don’t be shy about getting to know everyone around you!

One day, you might find your next graphic designer, accountant, or other third party vendor who can help grow your business. The next, you could introduce yourself to a key connection that makes all the difference in growing your business.

4. Keep your workspace and shared areas tidy

Virtual offices, which include coworking spaces, are shared by a variety of people. That’s why it’s so important to pick up after yourself, especially in shared areas. Always do your dishes after using the kitchen, consider refilling the coffee maker every once in a while, and do your best to pitch in to keep the space looking clean and professional.

Most coworking offices will have a posted set of common area rules, which take away any ambiguity about what’s expected.

5. Don’t hamper anyone’s productivity

Working from a shared office can be downright difficult. There’s always an interesting conversation to be had, and you’re surrounded by inspiring people.

That being said, be careful not to hamper a fellow coworker’s productivity. Some office spaces, like Intelligent Office, make this easy. We’re not shy about our spaces being productivity zones, and we pride ourselves on being a quieter coworking option.

If that sounds like your type of coworking space, find your next shared office here.