Not everyone can afford to have their own business office space in a separate building. But they may not have room in their homes or apartments for an office either. A solution to that problem is to use a shared work space with others.
Many businesses have filled that need by offering shared work spaces. For a fee most include desks, chairs, good lighting, and internet connections. Some will even allow you to use their business address, phone number, and conference rooms in rental agreements.
But working co-operatively with other people you don’t know isn’t always easy. Everyone has different personalities and quirks that can make a shared work environment uncomfortable. Nevertheless, you can prevent problems from arising if you follow some rules for using shared work space.
1. Work Quietly
One of the rules for using shared work space is to work quietly. It’s difficult to accomplish what you need to, especially on a deadline, if you can’t concentrate.
Don’t talk excessively to others who are also trying to focus on their own work. A simple “hello” or nod of the head when they look your way is an acceptable greeting that’s less disruptive.
2. Clean Up After Yourself
Imagine this scenario. You walk into a shared work space with your computer, coffee cup, and a stack of papers. After setting everything on a table you set up your computer and prepare to start working.
Picking up your paperwork you see that some mystery liquid has soaked several pages on the bottom of the stack. Yuk!
When working in a shared space you need to be mindful of the sensitivities of the other people around you. Follow the golden rule of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
To put it another way, leave the area you work in as neat as it was when you got there. If you have any wrappers, paper cups, or other trash you should throw it away. Wipe up any messes or crumbs.
3. Stay within Your Own Space
Everyone’s approach to work is different. Some people like to spread out more and others just stack everything in one pile.
The bottom line is that if you rent work space, don’t take up more than what you’ve paid for. Other people don’t like it when your stuff invades their working space. Keep your stuff on your side of the table.
4. Bring Your Own Supplies
Another rule for using shared work space is to bring your own supplies. It pays to think ahead. So each morning before work, think about what you will be doing throughout the day. Pack a small stapler, paperclips, pens, paper, or other supplies you may need to take with you.
If you must borrow from others in your shared work space, thank them. Be courteous and return items in good condition as soon as possible.
5. Practice Good Hygiene
No one wants to work around others who smell bad. Make sure you are showered and fresh before you go to work in a shared work space.
On the other hand, be mindful of the cologne you use. Try to keep it to a minimum because other people may be sensitive to strong scents.
It isn’t easy to work elbow to elbow with other people when you’d rather have your own work space. However, it can be done without quarrel if you follow some easy rules for using shared work space.
Originally published here.