9 Office Etiquette Tips for Open-Plan Workspaces
Open-plan workspaces are an office design concept that encourages collaboration and a smooth flow of information between colleagues. However, it also poses a few challenges. Below, are a few etiquette tips to ensure your work space remains a comfortable and productive space for all involved.
1. Be Mindful of Your Noise Level
Open-plan workspaces don't have a lot of buffers for noise, and people cause distractions as they move around and work together. This can make it very hard for people to hear important phone calls, conference calls or to concentrate on their work. Be mindful of your own volume. Speak at an indoor level, set your phone's ringer on silent or at a low volume, and have extended conversations away from the workspace. If you enjoy listening to music, bring headphones.
2. Consider a Separate Meeting Space
If you have a lot of group meetings, webinars, or conference calls, consider having a separate space for these activities, like one of Zenbooth’s office meeting pods. This will provide a buffer for your group to complete their calls and webinars without interrupting your coworkers who are working on different projects.
Zenbooth’s Executive Booths are convenient and provide all the amenities of a boardroom or private office but take up much less space, making them perfect mini-conference rooms. Your brainstorming sessions can go on as long as needed, with our disrupting anyone.
3. Keep Scents to a Minimum
Some of your coworkers may be extremely sensitive to smells. This can include things like perfumes, air fresheners, colognes and scented lotions. If you wear or use these products, make sure they're not strong enough to cause problems for people around you. This goes for your lunch, too. Things like tuna, salmon, or eggs can all carry a stronger scent that lingers, and it may cause some of your coworkers to get queasy.
4. Respect Everyone's Privacy
There isn't much seclusion when it comes to open-plan workspaces. You may think your coworkers are eavesdropping on every conversation you have or that they're watching everything you do.
It's important that you respect everyone's privacy. If you plan on having a sensitive conversation, have it away from the workspace. Also, keep your eyes on your own work and not on your coworker's browser tabs. Modern office phone booths can help alleviate some of these issues.
Zenbooth’s Comfort Booths, with their magnetic latch system, renewable sound insulation, and double-paned insulated glass door, provide a quiet, secure space that's easy to use.
Each Comfort Booth has two electrical outlets, fast-charging USB ports and a custom standing desk, so workers can handily make notes during a conversation. They can also follow a presentation on a laptop or actually get work done while waiting for a conference call.
5. Keep Your Space Neat
Since open office plans don't generally give you a set space to call your own, you'll want to keep the areas that you do work neat and clean. Start by wiping off your desk or work area once a week, and don't leave food wrappers or empty cups when you're done. You don't want to clutter up communal desk space either. Keep your papers organized and put them away when they're not needed.
6. Be Considerate of Your Coworkers
If you can see that a coworker is busy or in the middle of a phone call, don't interrupt them unless it's an emergency. You don't want to invade their space, hover and stare at them either. Instead, wait until they're free before you approach their work area.
7. Help Keep the Workspace Running
Every open-plan workspace is going to have communal printers, garbage cans, and supplies. If you see that the printer is low or out of ink, change the cartridge or put in a request for someone to do so. If you see a garbage can is overflowing or full, empty it. Also, if you take the last of any supplies, mention something or put in a request for more. Be a team player!
8. Practice Good Hygiene
If other people use your desk, make sure that it's not sticky or that there aren't crumbs anywhere. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer on your desk and use it throughout the day to stop germs from spreading. Also, you don't want to come to work if you're sick. An open-plan workspace can increase the risk of catching a cold or whatever illness is currently making its rounds to your coworkers.
These simple tips can help to ensure you're as productive as you can be in your open-plan workspace. Although a lot of these suggestions can be considered common sense, they're easy to overlook when you're concentrating on your projects. Implement them, make sure that all of your colleagues know about them, and by doing so your open-plan workspace will thrive.
Zenbooth is the first American company dedicated to creating quiet spaces in the workplace. The Zenbooth is a private, quiet, eco-friendly and comfortable booth that provides people a space to make phone calls, focus and be productive. Zenbooths have a truly unique, natural aesthetic that blends in with any office space design. Check out their Mortarr profile for more.