Open-concept workspaces are practical and affordable. Whether you work remotely or frequently travel, an open workspace in a co-working facility can offer you the convenience of a professional office when you need it without the burden and cost of maintaining a private office. While these are great benefits, sharing a workspace with strangers can be challenging. Here are some tips to consider that should help keep your fellow tenants happy with you:

Follow Traditional Workplace Rules

Because these modern workspaces are shared, they are, ironically, governed by many traditional rules of workplace behavior. Be considerate of others by following these timeless workplace rules:

  • Keep your door closed when you’re having conversations.
  • Don’t use your mobile in common areas.
  • Don’t bring smelly foods or anything with a strong scent into the office.

Remember — you should be only as disruptive to others as you want them to be to you.

Don’t Forget About Confidentiality

Confidential business matters should never be discussed in common areas such as kitchens and hallways. Guard your privacy as well as the privacy of your customers, vendors, investors, and business partners.

In particular, keep in mind that banking and personal information can be easily overheard in a quiet office. Openly discussing routing numbers, credit card numbers or social security numbers can put you and others at risk.

In a public space, confidential business matters should never be discussed. If you feel as though others can hear you, take your conversations to a more appropriate, private area. This is not only for your security, but also for the security of your customers, vendors, investors, and business partners.

Come Dressed for Work

Looking the part doesn’t just improve your productivity, it also enhances your reputation and makes it easier for others to take you seriously. Although you can dress comfortably, you should be presentable. Anyone you encounter could be a potential customer or investor. Always put your best foot forward.

Remember that a shared workspace is still an office. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure that how you use your workspace is as professional as you are.

Stayce Wagner is the author of Modern Business Etiquette for Young & Fabulous Professionals, available at, the iTunes Store, and other major outlets. Stayce is the founder of Spencer Crane Etiquette, LLC, where business etiquette and authenticity are partners, not rivals. Our many services are designed to help you to achieve success on your terms. We invite you to contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your business etiquette needs.

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