5 Ethical Considerations for Using Shared Office Space

You have rented the perfect coworking space in downtown Sydney, and in weeks, you have managed to snag valuable contacts that might lead to more work in other parts of the country.

Your shared office mate, however, eats some of the spiciest snacks making it difficult to concentrate, and when he does not leave other spills on the workspace, you can actually leave documents on the table without worrying about getting grease stains on them.

Let’s not mention your neighbour who thinks she is the community DJ. You just about had it when she created a playlist from requests from others in the coworking community.

You are not the only anxious professional in the space as not long after you arrive, someone leaves “anonymous” notes on the hot desks of each coworking professional highlighting community rules in yellow.  As you review the list of offences, you do notice you have also transgressed against the holy grail of coworking offences – leaving dishes in the staff sink.

Coworking successfully can be difficult, especially in a place priding itself on social interaction and community.

Let’s take a look at some helpful tips on how you can successfully navigate your shared workspace and work with those around you.

1- Contain Lively Conversations

Most workspaces have designated places to converse and socialise. Moreover, because shared office space can engender the types of social interaction that can be a distraction, it is easy to get pulled into conversations that can be distracting to the whole office.

Check out the type of office space – Servcorp for example – that exemplifies appropriate social interaction.

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People mix and mingle but do not disturb those at work. If you find yourself a part of a lively conversation that is not work-related move the discussion to a place away from the work area. Your shared office mates will appreciate your consideration.

2- Remember The Space’s Purpose

Shared offices, especially coworking spaces, form close-knit communities giving professionals the allusion their workspace is also the local hangout. While it is wonderful that the space is comfortable, the space is still an office.

Furthermore, engaging people in the office is great, but sitting on desks and walking around the space barefoot detracts from the overall professional environment. Keep in mind other professionals are working in the space with their clients and the image of the space reflects on them as well you.

3- Keep The Workspace Tidy

Any food that is greasy, oily, stains, or sticky should be eaten in a place designated for eating. Hot desks can be a host for a variety of germs, and if these spaces contain computers, all of the food gets into the keyboard, making it quite gross to use.

Moreover, drink beverages that stain the table and can possibly ruin computer equipment away from the work area. If it is not water, then you probably want to drink it in the café or lounge.

The point is to try to keep the workplace as tidy as possible only because the space accommodates multiple users, and no one wants to work in an untidy office.

Related Reading:

10 Office Cleaning Tips to Ensure Workplace Hygiene & Improve Productivity

4- Respect Each Other’s Industry

As stated previously, coworking’s social environment can make professionals lose sense of the purpose of the workspace. Not everyone in the space is going to value networking, so if someone does not want to be as social, respect their right to work quietly.

If you see some who you normally chit chat with working diligently, avoid interrupting their work because, while you have a lot of time, you do not know the time constraints of your office mates.

5- Etiquette For Shared Office Space Success

The rules for getting along in this space are similar to those in a conventional office, except we have to control the impulse to let social interaction take lead to our actual industry.

Respecting boundaries and the right of everyone to enjoy clean, distraction-free workspace can be a part of sharing office space. By following these few rules, you contribute to providing yourself and others quality workspace.

The Bottom Line:

Modern shared workplaces are great option for startups when it comes to save operating costs and starting up a business on budget. And, to make most out of shared workspace, you must make sure to have high workplace ethics as discussed above.