Hot Desk Etiquette

Hot Desk Etiquette: 7 Unspoken Rules that Coworkers Must Observe in the Workplace

Compared to the traditional workplace, open-plan offices and coworking spaces allow you to work on different desks whenever you come into the office. You can collaborate with several colleagues, connect with a unique social environment, and take advantage of extra services. 


Nevertheless, an open-plan office and a coworking space come with privacy challenges, working with new people in a somewhat distracting setup. 


How do you deal with hot desking? 


That’s why team members in the workplace or freelance workers must observe and practice proper coworking etiquette to foster harmony and camaraderie among colleagues. Moreover, with the current pandemic, it is essential to observe some rules for a productive, safe, healthy, and friendly workplace. 


Here are time-tested hot desk etiquette rules to implement in your workplace and coworking space. 


What are Unspoken Hot Desk Etiquette Rules and Best Practices in Coworking Spaces?


Unspoken Hot Desk Etiquette Rules infographic


  • Observe Silence. Be Considerate of Others Trying to Focus on their tasks. The first general rule in a shared workstation is to be mindful of your volume. In an open office, sound travels faster, and some spaces are designed to carry noise through other sections of the workspace.

Different workplaces have a hot desk policy for private communal and private work areas. 


What is a hot desk policy?


Hot desk policy is a list of impliedly or expressly common-sense rules to observe when using share desks, workstations, or conference rooms. 


While some coworking spaces allow you to have some freedom of openly talking aloud on the phone in a specified area, in others, you will have to be cautious when setting up equipment so as not to disturb others with the clicking and connecting sounds of your items. Also, some workspaces are generally noisy, especially in communal areas with networking and other events.


It is critical to lay down noise policy, schedule of conferences, and areas where you are allowed to sing aloud.


  • Clean Up Your Workstation After Using It. 

The second general rule is to clean up the desk as if nobody used it. When ending your work day or task completion, leave no trace on the workstation for the well-being of your colleagues and the maintenance staff. Do not leave wrappers, chips, or drinks. Wipe the surface, disinfect it with alcohol, and do not assume someone will clean the workstation after leaving. 


  • Adjust your behavior to be appropriate in shared areas.

Be mindful of your coworkers’ behavior in a common area as a courtesy to your coworkers. Lower the volume of your voice when conversing with colleagues. Some people bring their laptops into the kitchen to continue working; some offices even have gyms, meditation areas, bars, or yoga studios. Ensure you do not distract them with your demeanor in the designated workplace areas. 


  • Use Amenities and Services Moderately. Do not Use and Abuse. 

Conflicts arise when some users overstep their colleagues’ boundaries, such as overbooking workstations and conference rooms, using the copy machine papers, using others’ booked desks, and preventing others from using the same. To prevent extra problems and distractions in the workplace:


  1. Use amenities and services moderately.
  2. Utilize the allocated space or the conference when you have reserved it, and stay within the space you have booked or rented.
  3. If your space is inadequate, find another available spot where you can work without distractions and within the appropriate boundaries. 


  • Maximize the available resources you have.

Not all workspaces are created equal. Some scheduling workspaces may not be able to provide you with the equipment and accessories you need for your job, but they are improving to cater to specific niches based on the community and nature of the space. It is crucial to be self-sufficient when you’re working flexibly or as a freelancer. You can share with other members if they need to borrow some of your supplies and services or vice-versa. 


Moreover, keep track of your supplies, such as pens, headsets, notepads, and tumblers, and avoid sharing more things than you need to. It is essential to keep your personal belongings with you and avoid sharing them.


  • Keep confidential details confidential. 

When you are conversing with clients or bosses, keep matters confidential. Some business needs to be handled privately, and communal space is inappropriate in delicate work situations. Be mindful of your words and actions in a shared area to avoid awkward situations and giving away sensitive information.


  • If You’re Feeling Under the Weather, Stay at Home.

One common sense rule that everyone must observe is to stay home if you’ve been feeling under the weather. Regardless of whether you have the simple flu, prevent contagion from happening by staying at home. You don’t want to risk the people in the coworking space or the workplace. You must inform the staff in the business establishment or your superiors when you feel unwell so they can monitor your interactions with colleagues and coworkers. 


The Takeaway


There are unspoken rules when working with colleagues or others in a shared area. Creating a safe return to the coworking space and an open-plan office involves users keeping the communal environment safe. With the pandemic, standard office etiquette requires frequent desk sanitation, reduction of contamination, and a sense of accountability for actions in the office space. 


Open-plan offices, hot desks, and coworking spaces are a great way to collaborate with team members and converse with new people while getting your work done. It allows you to create a community among team members from different companies. 


Everyone must perform their share in keeping the spaces clean, healthy, and safe for everyone that works there. 

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