Etiquette for Entrepreneurs That Share Office Space

Building Bridges With Fellow Co-Workers

Have you ever been in an office trying and failing to mind your own business? There are a lots of potential distractions: the co-worker across the room makes a sales pitch to a client, then discusses  ingrown toenails with his doctor. All of this happens over his phone at 80 decibels or louder. In an hour, you haven’t gotten much work done, but you’ve learned more than you ever wanted to know about him.

Good etiquette is a valuable tool in traditional office environments, but arguably more so in rented office spaces and co-working environments where multiple business are housed under one roof. The friendly office connections you make can grow into amazing alliances of like-minded (or not so like-minded) people.

So how do you make a good impression at Agile Offices?

  1. Show good phone manners. Keep the volume down. Use the space’s phone call areas or close your office’s door. If you like to listen to music or podcasts while you work, keep a set of headphones in your backpack or laptop bag.
  2. Hygiene. Keep yourself and your space clean. No one wants to see you in food-stained sweats trimming your moustache into a trash can overflowing with expired takeout.
  3. Respect shared equipment. Spilled something by the coffee machine? Wipe it up. Did you drain the printer’s ink cartridge? Pop in a new one or let’s the office’s support staff know. Warn others ahead of time if you need to use the projector all afternoon.
  4. Be friendly. People use a rented work environment in part because they are energized by being surrounded by other professionals. Say ‘hello,’ try to remember names, and exchange chit chat instead of an awkward, dead silent staredown during the elevator ride up.
  5. But…don’t be too friendly. Read the room before starting a chat. People come here to balance out networking with work. If someone’s deeply into a project that’s due in a few hours, don’t distract them with videos of your new kitten.

What Next?

So you’ve laid the groundwork. How do you build bridges with other people working in that space? Start by defining what you want out of a connection want want to make.

Are you looking for a group who mutually cheers each other on? Support groups can be people from wildly different industries. Each should understand how difficult it can be to get a business off the ground. The most important factor here is finding personalities that ‘click.’

Or are looking for people that can help troubleshoot issues and craft business strategies? In this case, look for people in similar industries, ideally ones who are a little ahead of where you are. They can add valuable insight to your situation, and you can motivate each other to succeed.

Are you trying to build a network of complementary businesses in Agile’s facilities that can help each other? These networks are often the slowest to grow, but can have the highest returns. Face time with potential partners that nurture opportunities for collaboration are great tools to help your company take off.

Good Manners Build Bridges 

Etiquette rules that apply in traditional offices also work in a co-working environment. Making a good impression with other people is an important step to building workplace relationships. The relationships you’re able to establish with fellow co-workers provide you with an invaluable tool entrepreneurs can use to arm themselves with the knowledge necessary to help a business along its growth journey.

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