How to Get Along with your Co-working Neighbours
Shared workspaces can be a great way to interact with other people in your field, learn about different and exciting companies, as well as networking However, with a lot of different people (and personalities) packed into one space, there can be some conflicts. It’s best to know the rules and policies of the space when you sign up so that you know what’s expected of you. Still, there are a few simple ways to make sure you are the best co-working neighbour around.
Respect Their Privacy
Don’t be the person saying, “So I overheard you talking on the phone about how much you hate the engineer you work with…I’m pretty good I think.” A shared workspace can be great for networking, but it can also be a chance for you to seem like an opportunist. Inserting yourself into a situation that you typically wouldn’t overhear can get you quickly labeled the nosey one in the office. If the topic of seeking a new engineer comes up, certainly pass along your business card. But if you’re just snooping for leads, you’re going to get a pretty harsh label – and fast.
Keep It Down
Every shared space has a different noise level that is considered acceptable. It’s best to learn the policy before signing up to work there. Some people like to work in absolute silence, while others like a low hum of noise as they work. Consider which category you fall into, and find a space that can accommodate that level. Otherwise you might find yourself annoyed by the chatting person to your left, or you may find yourself the subject of controversy when you ask the person next to you where they typically grab lunch.
Understand the Space Rules
The Muse makes a great point, coworking spaces often have multiple uses, “Many co-working spaces double as events spaces, which means that the friendly face that greeted you in the morning probably has to stay late to clean up and prepare for the second act.” Know the limits of the space, and help ensure that it can be used to maximum efficiency. After all, these spaces give you the unique opportunity to have a great working space without needing to invest in a pricey individual space. They can only keep doing that if you help them serve all of their functions. This is also a great time to remind you of the basic rule, keep the space clean! Even if the space doesn’t suddenly turn into an event room every night, keeping your space clean is essential to being a good shared space worker.
People don’t often sign up for a co-working space if they are extreme introverts. These spaces are a great way to meet like-minded people in fast-paced startups, freelance businesses, and more. So being friendly is key to being a good co-working neighbour. U.S. News’ Money blog interviewed career advisor and director of online content at FlexJobs, Brie Reynolds, who recommends, “making conversation with others if they seem receptive. (Remember: headphones = busy.)” Test the waters, you’ll find your co-working space friends soon enough.
Signing up for a co-working space can open you up to a world of new opportunities and new people. Just remember, the operative word is working, this is a work space after all. Make sure you are respectful of your co-working neighbours and of the space you all share. Clean up, be kind, respect people’s privacy, and don’t abuse the noise levels. If you follow these few simple rules you’ll be a model workspace neighbour and you’ll likely find a great place to work for many years to come.