The New Etiquette of Coworking

Coworking is different. Because CEOs and interns inspire each other, because crowd-sourcing solutions is empowering, and because sharing anything can be dicey.  It’s egalitarian and collaborative and it didn’t have a comprehensive instruction manual. Until now.
All the decorum of  coworking sprouts from the  fact you’re not alone- you’re a member of an active, considerate community. Since there’s already a list of do’s and don’ts, here are  examples of considerate coworker feedback to illustrate  the finer points of coworking etiquette:

I like how you: availed yourself of the wide selection of hot and cold fair trade brews and exotic syrups at the coffee bar.
It would be better if you: didn’t have Restless Leg Syndrome.

I like how you: found the work zone that best suited your needs for the day.
It would be better if you: used the Zen Room for quiet time, made phone calls in the Switchboard, and jogged in place at the treadmill.

I like how you: ate lunch on the deck with members and hatched new ideas about full-stack Agile development over quinoa salad.
It would be better if you: cleaned up the bits that didn’t make it to your mouth.Ovaltine-735177-edited

I like how you: use the listserv to crowd-source solutions to your business questions and contribute your expertise when others need it.
It would be better if you: didn’t clog the list with tacky sales pitches.

I like how you: booked a meeting room, used the IdeaPaint on the walls to diagram your strategy, nailed your pitch to the duly impressed clients from Seattle, and set a date for the launch of your startup.
It would be better if you: erased the walls for the next person.

I like how you: keep me abreast of the deep calendar of events happening across the Workbar network.
It would be better if you: didn’t tell me how awesome Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer were when I couldn’t go.

I like how members: started a running club, organized a pot luck, held free office hours to teach coding, and went out for a cookie every day at four o’clock.
It would be better if: I did that, too.

The coworking model of shared workspace has tweaked a very old mousetrap. By trading hierarchy and competition for autonomy and collaboration, it demands a reworking of how we interact at work. Now, who wants a cookie?


About the Author: Dave Gentry is a fan of progress and recess.  He believes in old English, new fortune cookies and he answers to #davertido.

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