Shared workspaces and "hoteling" are hot trends in today’s workforce. If you’ve only worked in a stationary cubicle or office, this can be a big change, and you may be wondering how to make the space feel like your own. Check out these top 10 items you’ll need — and want — to curate your space without stepping on the toes of the people working around you.
NEED TO HAVE:
The first rule of shared workspaces is to do your research and don’t assume they will have what you need. Many shared workspaces that aren’t provided by a direct employer will list their amenities on their site, but a good rule of thumb is to have as many computers, in a portable format, as your team will need. Many people prefer a lightweight computer, like a MacBook Air or HP Elite Book; however, for those working on things like sound engineering or photo editing, more machinary may be needed. Just keep in mind it still needs to be super portable.
Shared workspaces can get loud. If you need to attend conference calls, make sure your headphones have a mic for clear conversation. Wireless headphones are great, especially those made by Bose or Beats. Bonus points for noise cancelling ones if you’re easily distracted.
3. Wireless accessories
Going hand-in-hand with headphones are wireless accessories. Spending a little extra money for a compact wireless keyboard and mouse can really help save time and space. Many workspaces have different places to work, like shared tables or small conference rooms for collaboration, so the ability to take these things with you on a whim also makes portability key.
4. Writing implements
Going along with the “don’t assume” rule, some workspaces have limited writing implements and office supplies. If you’re a stationary junkie, you’ll likely have your own anyway, but just in case, find some great pens you like and keep them in your bag or locker.
Moleskine seem to be the industry standard across the board, but brands like Rifle Paper and Kate Spade also have great pieces with fun patterns and sayings.
Now that we’ve covered off on the critical items, the following are some fun items you may want to make you feel a bit more at home.
NICE TO HAVE:
1. Mug/Water bottle
S’well and Starbucks are just a few examples of insulated mugs and water bottles with cute patterns and colors.
If a mug or water bottle isn’t an option, throwing a few coasters or a coozy in a bag can help reduce cup sweat and the need to wipe down the desk.
3. Small succulent
Who doesn’t love a cute little plant? Succulents are resilient and need little-to-no maintenance. Tuck it away in a locked drawer, if available, at the end of the day, or place it in a box in a backpack daily.
4. Great bag
Having a great bag, with enough space for all these items, is key. Again, it’s all about portability.
5. Digital frame
This is definitely a “nice to have,” but for those who are used to having photos in their space, a digital frame is a fun way to show off loved ones without using a cell phone all day.
It’s also helpful to know the typical etiquette for working in these types of spaces, including:
- Clean your desk.
- Don’t hog office supplies.
- If someone is sitting in “your” space, and you don’t have a reservation, don’t grunt and groan.
- Be aware of your volume. Step into a “chat” room, if available, for loud or extended conversations.
- Mute until talking on conference calls.
The truth is, not everyone will abide by these “rules,” and many shared workspaces are different. Use your judgment to stay comfortable and ensure the comfort of those around you.
Katie Klein is a blogger, former magazine editor, and ecommerce director. She’s passionate about supporting working moms (because she is one!) and navigating unusual career trajectories (because she’s had one!). She also loves funky shoes, flea market finds, and female empowerment. You can find her at her blog overlyambitious.com.
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