According to the NY Times, it is predicted that by 2020 nearly half the workforce will be freelance. Many of them will be looking for coworking office space so that they can get some work done without being tempted to watch TV or straighten up and be a social part of the working world and not be charged $5 for a latte. However, like any office, there are a number of rules that you need to follow in order to maintain a positive working relationship with those working around you.
Wikipedia defines co-working as “the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but… who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded people in the same space.” If that sounds like something you want, great. Just remember to follow the ground rules.
First, it is recommended that you check the coworking space out before you agree to work there. Do a trial run of sorts. This will enable you to determine whether or not your equipment works on their WIFI network and if you will fit in with the others that are already there. While some offer a quiet place to work, others may be more of a center of collaboration. You have to decide what will fit your needs best as well as how much noise and distraction you can take.
Be sure that you know the policies and adhere to them. This is especially true when it comes to the noise level because while some people like to work in absolute silence, there are others that like a low hum of noise as they work. Only you know what works for you. Not only that, but you do not want to be the office outcast, either. Regardless, be cordial and say hello when you pass by others you are sharing the space with.
Another reminder when it comes to executive office suite etiquette is that you need to take responsibility and keep the space clean as this is an essential part of being a good shared space worker. You are expected to be responsible for yourself. There is nobody charged with making sure you are on task and accomplishing what you set out to do. Not only that, but try to figure things out on your own and do not continually hassle those around you. If you do not know the WIFI password, look up. It is probably on a sign somewhere. You should also look for outlets and other necessities before you ask for them.
It is important to be mindful of others. Be sure to take sensitive calls in private and do not purposely eavesdrop. Be careful what you bring or eat for lunch as you do not want to stink up the place. Fish and garlic should be left at home. Also, try to keep the noise level down and watch your language.