By Tristan Jasper
Working from a coworking space can be a liberating experience for most people, especially if you are used to working in the confines of a more traditional office environment. Gone are the whitewalls and office cubicles, and communal work spaces and engaging working environments have taken their place. All of this can be a breath of fresh air for those making the change from a traditional space to a coworking space.
And whilst there are so many positives in moving to a coworking space, getting used to the environment can take some time. And finding ways to stay productive and keeping some level of privacy to your work can take even longer. Working in a communal workspace, with other likeminded coworkers and all of the noises and distractions that come along with the space requires some work by the individual to stay productive.
Here, we offer some advice on staying productive and keeping your work private when working in a coworking space. This advice can be used by first time coworkers, or as a reminder by those more seasoned to working in a coworking space.
Tips to Stay Productive
Staying productive when you are working is a very personal task that no one else can really help you with. Sure, others can detract from your productivity by walking past your desk, or engaging you in a conversation. But when it comes to completing your work on time, only you can personally ensure that this happens. Here are some ideas to assist you in staying productive when you are new to working in a coworking space.
Get To Know the Space
Take the time to get to know your coworking space. Talk to the team who manages the space to understand who to speak with for IT assistance or to book a meeting room. Knowing where the coffee machine and lounge areas are located can make your time spent there more comfortable. Make sure you also take notice of the emergency exits. Knowing all of these things, where they are and how they are to be used, can save you plenty of time when you do need to use them.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Working from any new space will bring with it the challenges of distractions, other conversations with coworkers, and people moving in and around the space at all times of the day. One way to ensure you stay productive in this new environment is to create a schedule for your work tasks and ensure that you stick to it. Scheduling these tasks in a calendar with alerts to notify you when your time is almost through will be all the motivation that you need to keep your mind off the other distractions.
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Working in a coworking space, you should always be mindful of your surroundings and those working beside you. If you need to take an important or personal call, look for a quiet area of the space to take the call. If you want to watch a video or listen to music as you work, make sure you have your headphones plugged in.
Choose Your Mood
Everyone wants to work in a coworking space that has a friendly and welcoming energy. When you visit a co-working space, make sure your mood adds to this energy and does not detract from it. A wave and a smile to your fellow co-workers is always a good place to start. Productivity in your work can be best achieved in a workspace that is occupied by other workers who are positive and engaged.
Tips to Keep Work Private
Whilst the majority of work can be completed in the communal working areas without any risk, there are always sensitive pieces of work that may not be served well by being completed amongst your fellow coworkers.
Pick a More Private Seat
Whilst working in a coworking space does not guarantee privacy, there are always seats in a coworking space that offer more privacy than others. Choosing a seat with your back to a wall may provide more privacy and less chance of people viewing your screen, than say the seat that faces the main entrance to the space. On days where you need to work on sensitive matters, get to the space early so you have the pick of the seats with the most privacy.
Make Use of Meeting Rooms
Phone calls and conversations between colleagues will always happen on the floor of a coworking space as this is how they are designed to operate. They are also designed with the knowledges that individual coworkers will know when to conduct business on the floor or when to move into a meeting room. Any conversations that discuss confidential matters or that may be of a personal nature should be taken off the floor to avoid people overhearing them.
Sometimes the work you are completing may not be that private that others cannot view your screen, however you might just want to keep prying eyes at bay. Or you might work on sensitive information all of the time, and require “your eyes only” to be able to view your laptop screen. In either case, getting your hands a on a privacy screen for your laptop will take care of keeping your laptop screen private for you. A product like Privacy Devil will assist you greatly.
Staying productive and keeping your work private in a work environment (as mentioned earlier) is something that really only you can be responsible for. And whilst there can be many distractors in a coworking space, the tips that we have shared will help you go a long way to ensuring you are productive and your work remains private. When it comes down to it, you are responsible for ensuring you stay productive and your work secure when in any workspace.