Coworking with Care – A Guide to Coworking Etiquette
The coworking craze is now a permanent fixture in Thailand’s commercial real estate scene. All over the place, coworking offices provide professionals and businesses affordable workspace. The office format has become so popular that hotels and other businesses in the Asia Pacific market, including Thai businesses, have found ways to maximise the office space style to cater to digital nomads.
One of the major reasons it is a popular working style is primarily because of its emphasis on social interaction and networking. However, a disadvantage to coworking is also related to its emphasis on social interaction and networking with many finding these spaces distractions. Even with the distractions, though, coworking can work for everyone if the space establishes coworking working standards.
Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure you work successfully alongside others in the coworking space.
The workspace is designed to promote and encourage social interaction. This can be seen through the typical daily interactions of people seated at the hot desks. Usually, a workstation can comprise a number of professionals from a diverse array of industries. With Servcorp, coworking spaces, you can get an idea of how many coworking offices create a social atmosphere.
Between the work and informal networking, the table can become a social hub in the workspace. In many spaces, it is not unheard of for people to commit some egregious boundary faux pas. Whether you spread your work across the table interfering with other people’s space, or worse yet, spend an ordinate amount of time glaring at your office mate’s computer screen, these transgressions, while small to you, might aggravate your coworking colleagues. One quick fix is to remember that, while the space is very social, it is still an office, and you should adhere to the same rules you would in a conventional office setting by respecting your colleagues’ boundaries.
In business, public arguments are frowned upon in the Thai culture, and because of this, many will not create friction in the office space. Referred to as saving face, many Thai professionals typically do not argue, interrupt, or openly contradict others. Instead, they remain quiet until they can speak to the person privately. In the coworking space, this applies as well.
Respecting Hierarchal Mores
Another characteristic of Thai business culture is that it is a hierarchal one that values respect for the ones at the top. Major decisions are made by people at the top, and generally speaking, those in positions of authority are always deferred to. When working in the coworking space, avoid possibly coming off as disrespectful by keeping this in mind when working with people who might be a part of a larger organisation.
Furthermore, because the structure is hierarchal, major decisions that need to be made might take a long time. Avoid appearing pushy, or even rude, by using patience when working in the coworking space. Ultimately, you do not want to turn off possible business partners or get in the way of collaborative opportunities by not respecting the people who make major decisions.
Controlling The Volume
Again, because the coworking space is also a space for social interaction, there can be a buzz heard in some of these establishments during business hours. While socialising can be quite engaging, the space is still an office where many professionals value the chance to work quietly. To avoid appearing inconsiderate, keep the volume down and chat in areas designated for social interaction.
Office etiquette has always been an issue since the advent of the modern office. However, the coworking space adds a new dimension to working with others. The chance to work with people from all sorts of industries also brings with it the chance to engage in a lot of social interaction. At the same time, these opportunities can be great sources of aggravation for people who use the workspace. Keeping the peace in the coworking space, ultimately, begins with the consideration of others professionals in the space.