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08.03.2016 Back to Blog articles

Office Space Sharing - The Dos and Don'ts

The Dos and Don'ts of Office Space Sharing: Office Sharing Etiquette 

Sharing an office space can be great for creativity, it can save you money, and you can meet people who complement your business. However, when it comes to sharing your workspace, if you don’t do it right it could lead to an invasion of privacy, arguments and workplace tension. Therefore, we have produced a simple guide of dos and don’ts, to help your sharing experience become a productive one!

Do:

Be considerate. Your co-workers might be the type of people who need a quiet space so respect this while you’re working. If you know you talk loudly on the phone, go outside to take private calls and keep your phone on silent. Getting a text every five minutes might mean you’re popular with your friends, but you certainly won’t be in the office.

Don’t:

Be messy. This ties in with being considerate and applies to both your desk and communal areas. Some people might have a real problem with messiness and can’t concentrate if they’re looking at your stacks of papers and last week’s lunch.

Do:

Talk to people. One of the biggest benefits of office sharing is the collaborative environment it promotes. You can bounce ideas off of other workers, get second opinions and make some friends.

Don’t:

Talk too much. Yes, you can discuss last night’s episode of that TV show, but keep social talk to a professional minimum and on a quiet level – no one likes spoilers. Also, assess who wants to be talked to. If someone has their headphones in or they look like they’re stuck into some work, save the chat for later.

Do:

Personalise your space. You need to be able to work in your environment so make your space feel like your own. Check the company policy on this and make sure any photographs are suitable for a workspace. Personalising also applies to smells. You might love the smell of your perfume or cologne, but a co-worker might detest it (and you for spraying it).

Don’t:

Just sit at your desk. Make use of all the facilities within the office, whether this is space outside, a conference room, or a more social environment. If you need to speak to someone privately, either in person or on the phone, use a meeting room instead of your desk. Both the client and your co-workers will benefit from this.

Do:

Contribute to the tea fund. This again depends on company policy, but if you use the last tea bag, buy some more! And while you’re making yourself a brew, offer to make some of your co-workers one, too. You don’t have to whip around the whole office, but the person next to you might appreciate a tea break.

This list will help you be a considerate co-worker, but it also works both ways. If you are unfortunate enough to have a colleague who doesn’t abide by these basic rules, don’t be passive aggressive, making your office a place of conflict. Try talking to them, quietly and subtly. Or maybe you could e-mail them a link to this article?

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