Private office suites often have a relaxed atmosphere. When you walk into a location offering these, you may find start-ups, remote workers, small businesses, and other professionals gathered in a communal office building where each has a private workspace.
However, despite a laid-back atmosphere, private workspaces usually have an unspoken set of rules. If you want to work in harmony with others, there are several rules of etiquette you’ll need to consider.
Top 8 Private Workspace Etiquette Rules
Silence Your Cell Phone
A loud ringtone can distract others, especially if several people have the same ringtone. Put your phone on silent or dial down the volume so that if you receive a phone call or message, it does not alert everyone and distract them from their work.
Take Phone Calls Behind A Closed Door
If you receive any phone calls and work in a private workspace where neighbors can hear, if you have a door, close it when taking calls. Alternatively, take calls in an area where you won’t distract others, like a lounge area or outside.
Also, don’t take phone calls in a conference room you haven’t booked, even if it’s empty. Not only is it discourteous, but you may also inconvenience people who need to use the conference room for a meeting.
Clear Up After Yourself
Most private workspaces usually include janitorial services in the fee. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up after yourself. Dispose of litter in the trash can and clean up if you make a mess. Your colleagues will appreciate the courtesy, and you’ll make the private workspace a more pleasant place to work.
Respect Other’s Property
If you’re headed for a meeting, and you realize you don’t have a pen, don’t just pick one up from an unoccupied workstation. Instead, borrow one from another coworker. Overall, don’t take people’s property without their permission, even if you intend to return it. It’s rude, and the last thing you want is to be labeled the office thief.
Mind What You’re Eating
Avoid carrying foods with strong smells to the office like fish or cauliflower. If you warm them in the microwave, they may stink up the office and repel other workers. Besides smelly foods, avoid carrying foods you can’t consume silently like crisps, nuts, and popcorns. Chewing them may distract others, so it’s best to leave them at home or eat them after work.
Keep Noise Levels Down
Imagine you’re intensely focusing on something at work when suddenly loud music disrupts your train of thought. That’s annoying, isn’t it? Don’t disrupt other coworkers by keeping noise levels to a minimum.
If you’re listening to music, consider using headphones and if others share the room with you, ensure the volume isn’t too loud. And, if you’re chatting with your colleagues, keep your voices low so that you don’t distract other people from their work.
But if you must discuss something with your colleagues and you can’t keep the noise down, consider booking a meeting room or going outside so that you don’t disturb others.
Use Shared Resources Responsibly
Private workspaces usually have shared resources like meeting rooms, kitchens, and lounge areas. If you use a shared resource like a meeting room, ensure you use it within the agreed-upon period. Using it beyond the period allocated to you may delay others who need to use the space. So, before you organize meetings, plan to avoid inconveniencing others.
Stay Home if Unwell
Stay home if you’re sick. Otherwise, you may spread your illness to others. And if you cough or sneeze in the office, ensure you cover your mouth to prevent germs from spreading.
While private office suites can be relaxed and fit the needs of many types of businesses, common courtesy still needs to be observed. If you want to co-exist peacefully with other occupants, follow the etiquette rules above to get the most out of your private workspace.