Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Coworking etiquette and more: Your questions answered

Curious about coworking?

The flexible workspace solution has become a global favorite for all types of businesses. But with popularity, comes a plethora of questions and inquisitiveness.

We received several questions and handpicked a few to be answered by coworking expert Monique Battistel.

Coworking etiquette

It's my first time using a coworking space. Is there any basic etiquette that I need to know about?

Monique: 

Using a coworking space can be a fun work environment to be in. It’s a great space to connect with likeminded individuals and to expand your network outside of your own industry.

On your first day, the local manager will give you a tour of the space so you can learn the ins and outs of the office. You’ll get to meet the team and discuss your specific needs including printing and meeting room access.

If you do not have a tour booked, you should request one so you can set yourself up on the best foot possible. 

I always recommend to new coworkers to be aware of signage that may be around the office. Most signage is in place to easily direct you on what you should and shouldn’t be doing in the shared space. 

A few examples include checking the kitchen signs for guidance on dishwasher etiquette or places to put your lunch. Some coworking areas have designated seats for certain coworking packages which will be clearly labelled – it’s quite simple!

Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation with your fellow coworkers, as networking is an important part of coworking. 

But, do be mindful of the office layout and consider areas that may be for more quiet working vs. areas for collaboration. An easy way to work this out is ask your local manager, they will be able to give guidance and advice on how to use the space effectively. 

Networking troubles

I know that coworking is about networking, but I’m finding it awkward to start a conversation with others. What’s the easiest way I can make connections?

Monique:

That is perfectly okay!

Most people have a similar experience when they first start using a shared coworking space. 

It can be intimidating joining a close-knit community where everyone knows each other. By far the easiest way to engage with others is to attend the community events, this is normally a very relaxed way of meeting your fellow coworkers over snacks and maybe a beverage. 

Otherwise, I recommend saying “hello” to introduce yourself when using shared facilities like the kitchen. The kitchen is an easy place to spark up a conversation about anything, try commenting on the weather, shared love of coffee or ask them about what they do.  

While networking is a great benefit of coworking, just simply start by having a conversation about anything not related to work.  

This tends to take the pressure off yourself for networking and you benefit by getting to know your fellow coworkers first, before getting down to business. 

If you have a dedicated desk, I recommend introducing yourself to the other workers in surrounding desks on the first day.

It is easier to rip the band-aid off on your first day than awkwardly wait weeks for an opportunity. 

But if your shy, your community manager will most likely give a tour of the space and introduce you to neighboring coworkers. When you start the tour, express that you are interested in getting to know everyone and this will ensure you get those key introductions. 

Just remember, everyone has felt that awkward feeling when starting in a new place! It’s normal but don’t let it hold you back from being a part of the community. 

Is it dobbing?

One of the coworkers is notorious for using the meeting room past his booking time. I've scheduled the meeting room numerous times and he always asks me to wait an extra ten minutes. How am I meant to make him leave without making things confrontational?

Monique:

If you are experiencing any issues like this, I always recommend letting your community manager or support team know. 

A part of a good coworking space is that everyone respects one another, this includes adhering to the booked times of resources.

I know you may be thinking this feels like “dobbing”, but your community manager is there to manage the workspace – this includes ensuring fair access to meeting rooms and resources. 

Your community manager will know every client best. Ultimately, they have the skills to address the matter and offer solutions to resolve the trend seen with your fellow coworker.

While this is underway the manager is likely to see if another meeting room is available to ensure you don’t miss that important meeting.

About the author

Monique Battistel is a coworking space expert and manager of premium coworking services at 100 Mount Street in North Sydney Australia.
 
Check out Monique’s Sydney office space guide and learn more about flexible workspaces.
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Monique Battistel

Monique Battistel

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