Sharing an office space with other businesses is never going to be everybody’s ideal situation. Aside from the obvious logistical complications that come with having to share such a space, tensions can quickly arise. Whether it be due to the treatment of communal areas, noise complaints, or personality clashes, the possibilities are endless.
So, what can you do? If your business has no choice but to operate in a shared environment with other companies, you’ll need to find some simple, practical solutions that will help to reduce the potential of being embroiled in a dispute regarding a commercial property.
We’ve put together a handy list of top tips for anyone who has to share an office space with other businesses. This way, you can concentrate on your commercial endeavours without getting mixed up in any unnecessary disputes.
10 Tips to Keep in Mind When Sharing an Office Space with Other Businesses
- Organise Different Schedules
If you’re working in a shared office space with other businesses, then you’re going to find that you start tripping over one another when everybody is in at the same time. For that reason, you might want to start off by looking at your respective schedules and coming to a flexible working arrangement.
Remote working is now the norm rather than the exception, so it’s certainly worth taking a look at whether you can use this to your advantage. For example, you could suggest working at home on some days to help reduce the amount of hustle and bustle that goes on during the working day.
- Make Sure to Communicate Issues
The introverted among us will know that there is nothing more intimidating than having to bring forward a complaint to someone else, especially if you don’t know them all that well! But, even if you’re more of a shy and retiring type, it’s important to clearly communicate any issues you might have in your shared office.
If you speak up and politely express how you think the issue can be rectified, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to come to a quick resolution without the need for any further conflict.
- Be Prepared to Compromise
In life, compromise is sometimes unavoidable. It’s an unfortunate reality that you probably won’t always agree on absolutely everything, which means you’ll probably need to aim for a middle ground which suits all parties.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While the arrangements you agree on might not necessarily be ideal, you’ll have a much more harmonious relationship with the other business which is only going to be beneficial in the long run.
- Don’t be Scared to Casually Socialise
You’re going to be spending plenty of time with the employees of these other businesses, son don’t be afraid to casually socialise with them as you would the employees of your own company! The experience you have in your shared office won’t be a very enjoyable one if you aren’t able to connect with anyone on a human level.
- Get on Top of Your Filing
Organisation is everything in a shared office environment. While you should always look to keep things as tidy as possible no matter where you’re working, there’s an added incentive to getting on top of your filing when you’re sharing a space with other companies.
If you don’t file everything away neatly, and utilise storage solutions like filing cabinets, you’ll be running the risk of mixing up important documents or losing them altogether.
- Have a Pair of Headphones Handy
There are going to be times when the office gets noisy. That’s not going to be easy to control from your perspective, so it’s probably best to always have a pair of headphones handy that you can use to help you concentrate.
What you play through your headphones is completely your choice: a podcast, ambient noise or even a cheesy pop playlist! Though, if you don’t want to embarrass yourself by singing along to ABBA, you’ll be better off saving the latter for when you’re at home…
- Be Polite and Courteous
It’s pretty simple – treat others how you would like to be treated yourself! If you’re polite and courteous when you’re in the shared office, you’ll likely receive the exact same treatment.
So, make sure not to speak too loudly or shout across the room while others are on the phone. Also, respect others personal boundaries and don’t take up any space that doesn’t belong to you!
- Work to Establish Shared Ground Rules for the Office
It might be worth working with the other businesses in your shared office to help establish some simple ground rules that will form the basis of your professional relationship with one another. You could come up with some generic rules that are often applied in many traditional offices (such as not eating or drinking at desks). Or, you can come up with some rules which are specifically tailored to the environment and the people working there.
- Make the Most of any Separate Rooms in the Office Space
If you are lucky enough to have separate meeting rooms in your shared office, then you’ll be wise to utilise them as much as possible.
An example of where this might be useful is if you have a client paying a visit and you don’t want to have to carry out a discussion while you’re surrounded by others who are trying to go about their own business.
- Don’t Forget to Concentrate on Your Work!
Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how businesses forget to concentrate on their work, rather than focusing on petty arguments and disputes with the other businesses in their shared environment. If everybody in the shared office concentrates on their work, then there shouldn’t be an issue – right?
Are You Finding It Tough to Work in a Shared Office Space?
So, there you have it! These tips should give you a better idea as to how you can work effectively in a shared office space with other businesses, without falling into the trap of getting into disputes.
Have you got any other tips that you think other businesses should know if they are working in a shared environment? If so, please leave them in the comments below so we can keep the discussion going.