SMEs and entrepreneurs are flocking to shared offices due to the low costs and flexibility. Working in a shared space can be quite different from working in a traditional office. While shared offices provide more networking opportunities, concerns about distractions and the lack of privacy are unavoidable.

Follow these rules to create a friendly and productive working environment in a shared office:

DO

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✓ Say hello

Even if you don’t work under the same company, it is important to maintain relationships with people you work alongside with. Spread positive energy by making the effort to network and interact with others.

✓ Be tidy

Keep your belongings confined to your own personal space and clean up communal areas such as the kitchen and conference room immediately after use.

✓ Volume down

Noisy conversations or habits such as tapping on the desk can create annoying distractions. Turn on vibrate mode and use headphones if you want to listen to music.

✓ Contribute to the community

Freeriding isn’t cool. Someone has to buy the paper towels or replace the ink cartridges. Bring in office supplies and be willing to share with others.

✓ Be tolerant

The shared office environment brings together different personalities and working styles. Not everyone is going to agree with you at all times. Be tolerant of these differences and take advice from others.

DON’T

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✗ Cross the border

Just because others are sitting nearby doesn’t mean they are free to chat all the time. Respect others’ privacy and start conversations only when it's appropriate. It’s not a bad idea to step away from someone if they seem busy.

✗ Overuse communal space and resource

Be considerate and only use what you need. Don’t overbook conference rooms and use all the paper in the copy machine.

✗ Come to work sick

Work from home when you are sick. Don’t prove that you’re a good worker by exposing the whole office to your flu.

✗ Gossip

Don’t spread rumors about others. It can be painful to find out your colleagues are talking about you behind your back. Gossiping could affect the office dynamic and damage your own reputation.

✗ Rely on others

If the printer is broken, don’t just step away and wait for others to fix it. Take initiatives to maintain the space and don’t let anything slow you down at work.

Do you find these tips helpful?

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