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Coworking 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Coworking Spaces

We’ve all had that co-worker we couldn’t stand.

You may have even found yourself wishing they would just get fired or disappear entirely.

They showed up late, left the microwave splattered with marinara sauce, and as far as everyone in your office could tell, only showered about once a week.

However, it’s not uncommon for co-workers to step on each others’ toes. In fact, as far as you know, you could be that co-worker.

The problem is, when you work with multiple people with all kinds of personalities, you’re bound to rub at least one person the wrong way.

However, regardless of the odds, you should do your best not to upset your co-workers.

Read on for our top 9 dos and don’ts of coworking!

The Dos and Don’ts of Coworking

While it seems simple enough to respect the dos and don’ts of coworking, it may surprise you how many people you rub the wrong way throughout the day. Sometimes, being a kind and genuine person isn’t enough.

A poor coworker can ruin a good space in a single day, and well-priced coworking spaces can be hard to find!

For more information on coworking spaces in Manhatten, check out Kettle Space!

1. Do Practice Good Hygiene

The is kindergarten stuff for most, but many people neglect their hygiene to the point of public concern. Even if you don’t think you need to shower every day, your co-workers may disagree.

The last thing you want to do is gross people out with your funk.

2. Do Cover Your Mouth When You Cough

We have all been told to cover our mouths when coughing and sneezing, but one in four people don’t!

However, it’s incredibly important that we do, as colds and more serious viruses such as the flu cans spread quickly through coughs and sneezes.

3. Do Respect Personal Bubbles

You ever have a friend or co-worker who stands entirely too close while talking to you?

It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. While it’s a societal thing that varies from country to country, we have to respect our country’s bubble standards, which is approximately two to four feet in working environments.

4. Do Follow the Rules

If you want the respect of your peers, follow the rules like everyone else. If you start acting as though you’re above them, you’ll ostracize yourself from the rest of the office.

Rebel at heart or not, your job is not the place. Show good coworking etiquette, accept and follow the rules.

5. To Be Kind and Courteous

This is among the most obvious of all dos and don’ts of coworking, it’s the golden rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Be nice to your coworkers. First, because you are a good human being and they don’t deserve ill-treatment. Second, they will treat you nice in return.

6. Do Carry Your Own Weight

When you’re working within an office full of coworkers, don’t make them carry your weight. Whether in regards to important group assignments or simply cleaning up after yourself in the breakroom, carry your own weight.

Your coworkers will begin to resent you if they notice you depend on them too much and won’t see you as part of the team.

7. Do Have a Tidy Desk

While your desk is your own personal space, don’t leave it a mess for everyone to look at.

First, right or wrong, they will judge you for it. Second, there is a strong link between clutter and anxiety. By leaving your desk messy, you are literally stressing everyone out.

8. Do Refill Anything You Use the Last Of

Is there anything more frustrating than going to the toilet only to realize someone used the last of the toilet paper and didn’t replace it?

Refill whatever you use the last of, it’s a major rule in the dos and don’ts of coworking.

9. Do Be Outgoing

Personalities aside, be outgoing and friendly. You don’t need to become best friends with any of your coworkers, just don’t seclude yourself from them.

Don’t be the weirdo in the corner avoiding eye-contact with everyone.

1. Don’t Bring in Stinky Food for Lunch or Snacks

It’s not your fault broccoli and Brussel sprouts stink, but you don’t need to bring them to work and heat them up in the shared microwave.

Remember, just because hard-boiled eggs are appetizing to you, it doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy smelling them!

2. Don’t Leave the Bathroom Without Washing Your Hands

Among the do’s and don’ts of coworking, washing your hands after using the bathroom could be listed in the top 10 do’s and don’ts of life.

It’s okay to judge someone if you watch them head straight out of the stall and back into the office without washing their hands. There’s no excuse for it.


3. Don’t Listen to Loud Music (Even in Headphones)

Most people prefer a quiet atmosphere devoid of distractions to get solid work done. However, many people prefer music. Thank goodness for headphones!

Although, you will occasionally meat that person who wears headphones but also wants everyone to know what they’re listening to. They either crank the volume up so much it blares through, or they sing along to whatever they’re listening to.

Headphones are designed for personal listening. Keep it to yourself.

4. Don’t Leave Messes in Common Areas

Don’t leave a trail of messes wherever you go. Clean up after yourself in the kitchen, breakroom, bathroom, etc.

Your coworkers will notice very quickly if you don’t.

5. Don’t Chew Gum Obnoxiously

In a close working environment, loud gum chewers are frequent offenders of the dos and don’ts of coworking.

It’s literally chewing with your mouth open with never-ending food. Don’t do that to people.

6. Don’t Use Inappropriate Language

There’s a time and place for inappropriate language. It’s not at the office. Very few people tolerate racial, sexist, or profane language.

Leave it for the bar or yelling at the TV when your team is losing.

7. Don’t Go Over Schedule on Shared Conference Rooms

Many shared workspaces have a shared conference or common rooms. If you are scheduled for an hour, cut it off at an hour.

Don’t be selfish, every minute you go over is a minute you took from someone else.

8. Don’t Bring Bad Moods to Work

While maintaining the good coworker etiquette of kindness seems like an easy one, try doing it after you’ve had a really bad day and Karen is sitting behind you chomping away on her gum.

It’s not her fault you’re already annoyed, so don’t take it out on her. Keep your bad moods to yourself, fake it till you make it if you have to.

9. Don’t Try to Sell Your Co-Workers Stuff

We all have friends on our Facebook that randomly fell into Thrive, Advocare, or Mary K. Every post they make becomes a sales pitch and you eventually unfollow them.

Don’t be that person at your job. Your co-workers can’t unfollow you at work, but they can stop being nice to you.

The Working Life

Life in an office can be wildly entertaining and exciting. Depending on your coworkers, you could find yourself really looking forward to work each day, or dreading it!

Just keep the dos and don’ts of coworking in mind so you aren’t the reason others dread great coming to work!

For more articles on work life, check out these articles!

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