One of the most important aspects of a shared space is maintaining a quiet and peaceful environment, says Prashant Garg.
The practice of working in a shared office has taken a major turn in the last few years.
An increasing number of Indian organisations, especially start-ups, are now exploring the idea of shared workspaces to cut costs and increase employee engagement.
In a co-working space, you don’t just work with 'co-workers', but share space with like-minded people and those who will have different opinions and aspirations.
Shared working space fosters idea exchange, increases productivity and is extremely cost-effective.
Simultaneously it can introduce a bevy of interpersonal issues.
If you are working in a co-working space, here are some best practices you can follow.
1. Apologise honestly
Shared spaces always give room to ambiguous conversations, flaky arguments or mistakes. So don’t be too hesitant to apologise if the mishap is from your end.
Honesty is always appreciated everywhere, so rather than playing the blame game, it’s always better to own up your mistake and show integrity to your co-workers.
This will not only maintain a sense of harmony but also build up trust among each other.
2. Listening is key
To hear what someone has said and understanding it, are two different aspects in a conversation.
The latter is an important trait for a professional.
Giving your undivided attention -- whether the information is on professional or personal level -- conveys respect to the other person.
3. Give some room
'The missing link between humans and apes? It's certainly those brutes who haven't yet learned to respect privacy.'
That’s the first thing which comes to mind when there is an ‘invasion of privacy or personal space’.
One must apply the learnt proximity theories to the real world and give people the space they need to function freely, physically and mentally.
4. Modulate your voice and keep it pleasant
One of the most important aspects of a shared space is maintaining a quiet and peaceful environment.
As a co-worker, you should be conscious of your tone and volume during conversations on the phone or in person.
It can spoil the decorum and disrupt your colleague’s work.
5. Foster an environment of inclusion
Always include your co-workers in your work or conversations not related to work.
When you include them, they become more comfortable at their workplace and can share ideas without any discomfort or hesitation.
In the long run, this benefits the whole organisation.
It is never too harmful to be polite to your co-workers and sometimes ask about food and beverages, just to embrace a sense of inclusivity amongst each other.
6. Leave no trace
It is always expected of everyone to keep their workspaces clean, while being used or afterwards.
A cluttered workstation shows mismanagement and careless attitude, which never leaves a good impression.
Simple acts like organising your work files and wiping your desk clean can make a huge difference and set good vibes.
To summarise, this is your home for 5 days a week, keep it clean.
7. Be independent
Though collaborations are always appreciated, working independently can set an example for others to look up to you.
A person who is self-regulated, aware and motivated has an ability to affect personal and professional growth, and growth of those around them.
8. Avoid eating at your desk
Nobody likes their workplace smelling spicy, tangy or sometimes just pungent.
It's better to enjoy your meals at designated eating areas. Or, if you like to eat at your workstation, be a courteous eater and refrain from eating food with strong odour.
Also, clean up and sanitise the place later.
9. Follow the rules
Rules can be bent or broken when you are in school or college. But at work, not following rules is highly unprofessional.
Adhering to guidelines helps you stay in sync with the office management; appreciated and liked by everyone.
10. Be kind and gentle
Simple efforts like greeting others at your workplace, opening the door for somebody or wait 10 for more seconds for a person running towards the elevator are simple steps to put a smile on someone’s face.
Creating a friendly environment boosts morale and fosters a healthy relationship.
Encapsulating all points, we must strive to create an open, innovative and a learning environment where everyone can work in harmony and grow simultaneously.
A healthy working culture also promotes a healthy mind.
Prashant Garg is country manager, Garage Society India, a Hong Kong based co-working space provider. Garg can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.