Now that Auckland city is abuzz with this office craze, the word co-worker has taken on new meaning. In this incarnation, co-worker has come to encompass a mentor, partner, and collaborator. The reason the co-working space is so popular is that it creates so many opportunities to forge a variety of relationships.

With all of these relationships flourishing in this one space, it is no wonder that the co-working space is the number one place for promoting and supporting innovation and industry. At the same time, with so many people working in such close proximity, there is bound to be some friction, whether it relates to neighbours who talk too loud, or worse yet, eat in the workspace. However, co-working does not have to be a miserable experience.

Continue reading to learn how you can be a more conscientious co-worker and build better relationships with those around you.

Give Your Co-Workers Their Space

The coworking office is organised to promote social interaction and networking. Naturally, this would encourage the types of behaviours where people talk over each other, watch us while working, listen to our phone conversations, and worse yet, interrupt our conversations. Let’s not mention the many instances when we borrow or steal pens, paper clips, and other office staples from our neighbours.

Much of this occurs because many outfits place professionals in close proximity to each other. For example, Servcorp coworking spaces in Auckland are a perfect example of the typical co-working space design. Even though you might find yourself working close to others, keeping a good sense of boundaries is one way of avoiding any hot desk faux pas.

Keep The Volume Down

Co-working spaces are first and foremost communities with a culture and character of their own. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find people engaged, socialising throughout the day. At the same time, while hanging out is a great way to take a break, it can also be disruptive, especially when noise levels rise.

No, your office probably will not resemble a library. Even so, while the co-working space promotes social interaction, it is still a workspace and still governed by business etiquette. One way to avoid disturbing others is to meet in places that are appropriate for boisterous, rambunctious behaviours, i.e. café and lounges.

Avoid Being Territorial

Shared space is exactly that – shared space. For this reason, seating and other amenities are on a first-come-first-serve basis, except if leasing a dedicated desk or private office. Glaring at others while they work in your favourite space is probably not the most proactive way to build relationships in the community.

There a few ways to remedy this situation. If working in a particular place is important, consider upgrading to an office or a dedicated desk where you will be guaranteed the space. In this way, you also get a certain amount of privacy and you do not have to worry about the space being available when you need it. You can also work during off-peak office hours, which might increase your chances of snagging your favourite space.

Avoid Messy Food And Drink Containers

One of the most flagrant abuses that occur in the shared space comes from inconsiderate co-workers who eat meals in open containers, sometimes even smacking at their desk. While your General Tso’s might smell wonderful, the pungent odour might be distracting to the entire office. Worse yet, the sticky sauce might leave the desk space an icky mess.

Hunger is a natural biological function that, for the most part, cannot be controlled. While this might be true, consider eating only small snacks and bringing water until you can eat a full meal. If you have to eat, seek out the more appropriate café or break areas to avoid bothering your co-workers.

Close To Perfect

Perfection is overrated. Instead, opt for good etiquette by keeping your co-working mates in mind when working in the space. By watching noise levels, avoiding territoriality, respecting boundaries, and keeping the space tidy, you encourage the type of work environment that is close to perfect.

Guest Author