With the introduction and warm reception of co-working spaces, it is only a matter of time before it outdoes the traditional office we are used to.

In a traditional office, there are things we know as rules or policies that guide the existence of an establishment, these are laid down rules whether silent or boldly stated, and every staff in the office is under law to abide by them.

Such things include resumption time, lunch break, dress code, IOU plans, leave dates and a lot more serious stuff. But this doesn’t apply in a co-working space because of the uneven blend of startups and entrepreneurs with variable dispositions.

But with all its glitz and glam, one can only hope that it doesn’t dissolve as fast as it came due to some matters we will reference here.

Working in a shared space can be all shades of cool and dreamy, and all good things are guided by laws.

First commandment with a promise

The day you consider what you share as YOURS, that’s the day you forfeit the right to it.

There is no such thing as MINE, that is the whole essence of a shared space, those who have a private office plan probably own the barricade that demarcates them from other parts of the space. The work table is shared, the reception is shared, the lounge, the kitchen area, the restroom…… you get where I am going.

In a SHARED office space, nothing really is yours save your laptop. So, it is only fair that you treat your neighbor as yourself.

In the first instance, it’s a co working space, the fact that I paid for it, so I deserve equal rights, doesn’t mean you should halt every form of ingenuity going on just to please yourself.

The phrase, what is yours is mine also applies to hoarding of shared items, like the meeting room, private lounge, overstaying your agreed time in a part of the space. Always consider the next person PERIOD.

Courtesy demands that whatever you use; a benefit of the space, the lounge, the meeting room, coffee, the restroom, you use it within the time allocated to you, you consider the next person that will use it and you maintain it.

Whatever will make your neighbor unhappy, do not do it.

When you enter an office, the first place you see is the reception, same goes for co-working spaces. The reception is a place for chit chat, hellos and simple pleasantries. It is like the barber’s shop for a black American, it is home.

On this fateful day, I entered the reception and instead of the friendly warm conversations, it was an airless heart wrenching odor that greeted me, I ran back almost as soon as I came in.

What just happened?

Warming, cooking of food items with offensive aroma is as bad a sin as stealing, in the “shared office space”. It is unethical for a work space and is also an act of selfishness.

It is always nice to consider others when doing anything, someone might just be allergic to strong fragrances, the smell of fish, the aroma of warming native soups, someone might not concentrate with the sound of stiletto footsteps, and a lot more.

If you must, check with the co working manager, to make sure whatever you’re doing is allowed in the space and apologize for any inconvenience.

Noise making is a sin

Talking is not a crime so long as it doesn’t translate to noise making.

If you must chat, receive a phone call or say something, do so, but not to the detriment of other people. Some people are natural megaphones and while we know it’s not entirely your fault, we know you have control over the crescendo of your voice.

For some, coming into the space is like an army rising, clanging sounds of 12-inch pumps and a lot of hardware descending on table tops. For the benefit of those who came in hours before you did and are already settled, please practice pin-drop silence, if you can’t, apologize in advance for disrupting their creative juice flow.

Thou shalt not steal thy brother’s idea.

Networking and friendly communication is an inevitable bonus of co working. But it becomes a SIN, when you start to pick the brains of others in the name of networking. The co working environment is one that is open to a million and one creative geniuses and ideas spring up from all corners of the building in per second to minute basis, this should not give room for idea-theft. Rather it should encourage friendly competition and hard work.

Everyone should be able to defend their products and whether the genius comes today or tomorrow, keep working, it will come someday

What co working commandment do you think we left out?

Let us know your experience in the comment section below.

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