3 Tips to Stay Productive in a Coworking Environment

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

For many small businesses, especially startups, the need for office space often leads to open-plan spaces where workers are separated by nothing at all or partitions, at best. It becomes all too easy for workers to become distracted by noise and the temptation to interact with one another instead of focusing on the tasks at hand. In many cases, even the best of multi-taskers tries to juggle one too many plates and ends up half-working on several tasks that don’t get completed. The following are ways to stay productive in a co-working environment.

Make Use of Headphones

Much like with a “do not disturb” sign on your hotel room door, most co-workers understand that when you put on headphones, it means you’re not to be bothered. The benefit of headphones is twofold. When you are trying to review an important presentation, for example, headphones allow you to amplify what you’re hearing. In addition, headphones help to drown out sounds around you, even if you’re not listening to anything on them. In any case, most co-workers will be less likely to derail your train of thought. If you become easily distracted by even the slightest noises, consider using different programming options, such as Noisli, which offer various types of “white noise” to help keep you focused on work.

Speak Up

While headphones are a good option, not everyone understands them as a universal signal to leave you alone. Some co-workers may not require the same quiet working conditions as you. You will spend more time and energy focusing on your noisy co-workers if you remain silent, allowing their behavior to continually deter you from the work you should be doing. Be polite and respectful, but don’t be silent. Let your co-workers know you need your own quiet space to accomplish certain tasks. Nine times out of 10, they will do their best to respect your space. If they don’t, or if the noise can’t be helped, let them know you’re going to a more private area to get your work done. This prevents unnecessarily hurt feelings if you suddenly get up and move, and it also lets your co-workers know not to bother you in your new working area.

Dress the Part

The rules of dress vary from one company to the next. In general, workers tend to get more accomplished if they are donned in comfortable attire.

Whether your company requires a stricter dress code or has a policy that allows you to wear whatever you want, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, if you are typically on your feet for most of the day, consider taking extra time to find the best fitting pair of shoes, this way you can still be productive while staying in line with your company’s dress code. Also, comfortable attire still needs to be appropriate for the workplace. If you would wear it to the gym it’s probably not the best outfit for work.

References & Resources

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