Seven unwritten rules a coworking space needs to adhere to
Co-working is a growing phenomenon not only across Africa today but in Nairobi. Such spaces have invaluable benefits and is more of a lifestyle than a trend.
In most cases when one is joining a co-working space in Nairobi, they are always taken through an on-boarding process that involves the rules and the regulations that they should adhere to while using the space. But then again, most are the times that simple, yet very important rules are left out in the list but still must be observed in the space.
Here is a list of the seven unwritten rules that you need to remember next time you are in a coworking space.
Some co-working spaces are noisy, especially in communal areas that have frequent communal events such as luncheons and networking events Nairobi.
But then again, some workspaces have designated places where you can make phone calls or hold team meetings with fellow team members. Ensure you make use of these spaces as opposed to making phone calls at the communal places destructing everyone.
Also ensure if you are listening to music or watching videos you have your headphones or earphones on. It is also important to have your phone on a silent mode or even on vibration. Most work-spaces have noise policies and it is important to know the noise policy just for what you can and can’t do, and where you can Skype and where you can sing aloud.
Be Self Sufficient
For the benefit of you, other members, as well as the staff, it’s important you try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Having to rely on staff to frequently connect on Wi-Fi and use the printer can slow you down, likewise relying on other members runs the risk of you not knowing what to do when the members moves on given the transient nature of members within a Co-working space, figuring out how to solve your own problems will ensure the best for your experience.
Likewise, if your Co-working space has an application or a Co-working management platform through which it operates from, master it as much as you can. Furthermore, you’ll tend to make better connections when other members are the ones asking you for help.
Clean Up After Yourself
With Coworking spaces, the best practice is to “leave no trace” , for the sake of the staff and the well-being of other members you work with, leave the workspace as if nobody used it.
Ensure that you have your meals at the designated areas and ensure that after every meal you get to clean up your dishes and throw trash in the trash can. If there is a kitchen, ensure that you take the utensils back to the kitchen once done to also create room for your fellow coworkers who need to use the same space to have their meals or even catch up.
If you don’t want empty bags of chips on your desk at the time you book it, don’t assume someone is always going to clean up for you prior to the next member booking your spot.
Make use of the collaborative and communication tools within the space
You do not want to be left out on what is happening in the space. Stay up to date with the community events and other announcements in the space by making use of all the collaborative tools that you as a member are granted access during the onboarding process.
For example, at Nairobi Garage, one of the communication tools commonly used is the Slack, we encourage our members to ensure that they are always on to connect and collaborate with others. We also have the Office R&D that ensures they book their meetings easily and on time.
We also have tools like the KISI App that ensure members have access to the space 24/7 and they do not have to wait on the staff to open the space doors for them.
Respect other people’s privacy
Well, as much as coworking involves people working from a common place, in Nairobi, it is important that we learn to respect each other’s privacy. You do not want people looking over your shoulder to see what your next move is. When you need to speak to someone, don’t just hover above their heads or peek over their cubicles.
Try catching their attention by tapping lightly on their cubicle or table. Avoid touching, eating, and using anything that is not yours. It is also important that you do not go checking other people’s things without their knowledge. For example, if someone leaves something unattended in the common areas it is important that you communicate with the staff so that they find the owner.
Do not pick what’s not yours
Ensure that you also respect other coworkers’ property by just making use of that which is allocated to you or only that that is yours. Avoid touching, eating, and using anything that is not yours. If it can’t be helped, ask the owner’s permission to borrow first before using something.
And then ALWAYS remember to give it back. If by instance it is a pen or any office supply you are borrowing, make sure that you will have your own of such items to avoid repeated borrowing. Do not overly depend on the supplies of other people especially when you can afford it yourself.
Watch your tongue
A co-working space is open to anyone from anywhere. In line with this, being mindful of other people’s cultural, religion, gender or even race are important. You need to be careful with the things you say to keep you from offending anyone and creating conflict among your coworkers. If possible avoid topics or discussions that might be quite sensitive and cause disagreements and conflicts with others.
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