Whether you’re renting a coworking space, or simply “just looking for now”, you want to find out as mush as you can about them. What's the parking situation like? How late can I work there? Are there office rules?
Luckily, unless you’ve never worked in an office environment before, many “rules” of coworking spaces aren’t that radical or new. The things you would, or wouldn’t do, in coworking spaces are similar to what you would and wouldn’t do in a traditional office.
Here are 10 coworking space guidelines to remember if you happen to work in one. Bear in mind that each office may have their own decorum, so be sure to follow the example of your office mates when in doubt.
- Don’t leave a mess behind. We know that people get busy, but it’s rude to leave dishes in the sink, spills on the counter, or trash at your desk. Be courteous and always clean up after yourself. Familiarize yourself with where the paper towels, brooms, and mops are. Don’t be afraid to use them when needed. Also, don’t leave any food in the fridge to rot. Take it home or toss it out.
- Don’t microwave fish. For everyone’s sake, leave the leftover seafood at home.
- No one wants to hear your meeting with your client, or how that girl from last night is now following you on Twitter. Keep your phone conversations to a low roar. If your coworking space offers phone booths, definitely use them.
- If the coffee pot is empty, make a fresh one. It’s everyone’s job. Also, you’re sure to win points and make friends with a fresh pot of Joe.
- If you deplete the printer of paper, refill it. Again, this is everyone’s job.
- Keep your cell phone on silent or vibrate. No one wants to hear that from across the office.
- If you’re at a shared table, be aware of how much space you take up. Don’t spread your work so that it takes up the whole table. Additionally, If you rent one desk, keep your stuff on one desk. Don’t spread out into someone else’s real estate.
- Try to be as friendly as possible. Most coworking spaces operate under the assumption that people are going to talk, make friends, and maybe even begin collaborating. Be nice, go out for coffee with someone in the office, and who knows where the relationship may take you.
- Alternately, if someone looks busy, try not to interrupt them. Wait until they’ve come up for air to talk to them.
- Bring a sweater or jacket, don’t adjust the temperature to suit your needs.
With a little bit of etiquette shown by you (and hopefully) other people in the office, the time spent there will be an enjoyable one.