Working in a shared open space certainly has its perks. There’s movement, people (that’s only a perk if you like people), and usually more air to go around as spaces are bigger. Still, there could be some challenges when sitting next to other people all day, depending on a person’s sensitivities, personality and changing moods. Taking these factors into consideration, we need to find that silver lining where everyone can feel seen, heard, and effective at work.
In order to be respectful of other co-workers in a shared workspace, there are several things to keep in mind. Our vivacious senior community managers from around the world bring you their 5 no no’s when sharing office space.
#1 A dog-friendly (and people-friendly) office
Dogs are our best friends, truth. It’s such an amazing experience to be able to bring your dog to work, and to have the company and the sweetness of these big-hearted creatures all around us. It’s really a win-win; the dogs don’t stay home alone, and we have moments of joy and cuddles with our pets at work.
But, hey, someone needs to pick up their poop and throw it in the trash… and the office trash is not suitable for that. Make sure to put your dog’s poop in the trash bin outside the building. Other co-workers’ noses would greatly appreciate it.
– Mor David, Senior Community Manager at Mindspace Yakum Greenwork and Mindspace HaMenofim in Herzliya
#2 Don’t be a mug – keep it tidy for other co-workers
Did you leave your dirty mug in the one-on-one phone booth, or forgot your half-eaten bowl of cereal on the desk in the open space? With today’s busy schedule, it can happen to us all. But, the dirty dishes aren’t going to walk themselves to the kitchen sink, and the dishwasher isn’t going to load itself; someone’s gotta do it.
In the office, don’t forget to give a bit more attention and motivation to this ghastly endeavor of tidying up after yourself. Make it pleasant for everyone during all hours of the day to hang around in the kitchen, meeting rooms and lounges.
– Claire Daniel, Senior Community Manager at Mindspace Shoreditch and Mindspace Hammersmith, London
#3 In a shared office space, timing is everything
Most coworking spaces offer the option to book meeting rooms. When planning a meeting, it’s important to have in mind all the different aspects that would make the meeting a success. It’s also important to manage your tasks and time wisely – it will be helpful for you, as well as considerate of other co-workers.
Make sure you book the meeting room accordingly. If you need to prepare or set up something, reserve it enough time before the actual meeting starts to avoid any delays. Although anybody can lose track of time, please be sure to start wrapping up a few minutes before the meeting ends in order to vacate the meeting room in a timely fashion (before the next booker already knocks on the door). It ain’t rocket science; it just requires some attention to detail and good ol’ planning, but the results will make everyone’s experience smooth and pleasant.
– Andre Beermann, Senior Community Manager at Mindspace Eurotheum, Frankfurt
#4 Shhh – keep it quiet in the shared workspace
Let’s state the obvious – working from a shared space, for instance working in a shared space in London, definitely has a bunch to do with sharing. However, some things should be kept private. Most people need to find peace and quiet to focus in a co-working space, create and envision in their professional roles. Thus, it does take a lot of sensitivity and awareness to create healthy boundaries in an open space – especially when it comes to noise and sound.
Not everyone wants to listen to their neighbor’s ongoing projects at work, or to the new pop hit that just came out. The solution is simple: use headphones and respect each other’s space (and ears).
– Zaklina Mayer, Senior Community Manager at Mindspace Koszyki, Warsaw
#5 Be kind to the office furniture
We all love to lounge around and enjoy the sofas and armchairs at the furnished office. And, although it’s great to feel at home, they should be kept squeaky clean. So, pretty please, refrain from putting your feet on the furniture. Not only would it help avoiding damage, but it would also keep any aroma of dirty socks away. Let’s respect the shared space’s pieces of furniture and have them stay fresh for the entire community to feel comfy.
– Carly Dolder, Senior Community Manager at, Mindspace Wanamaker, Philadelphia