Office Etiquette

It’s a curious and complex world when people come together for a single purpose- to work.

They have nothing in common except the fact that they are part of a collective all focused on doing the work of the company that has employed them. I cannot even say they are all working towards the same goal, they should be, but that depends on the vision and communication of the business itself.

Hierarchy, politics and ego all have a place here, some firmly embedded, some desperately trying to get a foot on the ladder to a higher status. However, there are usually some rules, policies and practices which keep everyone in check, everyone toeing the line to some extent, so there isn’t anarchy over the water cooler or frenzied panic over the fridge contents.

However, how does the dynamic change when there’s no boss? When you’re all the boss who’s in charge?

Co-working spaces are becoming a permanent fixture in many cities and towns with new flexible ways of working popping up in all manner of buildings and locations. These new environments offer an alternative to the traditional methods of working; more relaxed, friendly and even encouraging you to chatter over the water cooler!

A functional co-working space should offer you a variety of working areas: a formal desk, a breakout space, meeting rooms and kitchen facilities are the norm. Many also provide extra-curricular activities; value added benefits and personal development events not to mention bake-a-cake days and Friday night drinks!

However, what does this all mean for working etiquette?

Well, your new office may welcome a more relaxed approach, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be respectful of others. Don’t hog the meeting room, don’t talk loudly on your phone in the middle of the office and don’t eat the stinky tofu noodles at your desk – these are just a few for starters.

While you may be a sole trader, you’re now part of a team – like it or not. Whether you’re hot-desking for the day or have a permanent desk use your common sense and like the saying goes ‘do unto others…’ Clean up after yourself and be good at sharing. 

Who knows, while you’re not all working for the same company you may find you have a lot more in common than just where you work. Creating a vision, working towards goals and seeing your business grow are the dreams of entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Working in an environment that nurtures a collaborative culture and spirit of a community may be what you and your business need.

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